BY CALEB ALEXANDER
Investigators called in by the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department have determined that a man found dead on March 7 in a lake in Centralia died from self inflicted wounds.
Jeffrey M. Downs, 37, of Swansea had been reported missing by his family before his body was found. The Major Case Squad was asked to investigate the cause of his death by Clinton County Sheriff Doug Maue.
Downs who was single, was staying at the Best Western motel in Centralia, then his family learned there was a video of him from the business showing how he walked from the patio through a field toward a nearby retention pond.
His jacket and a pack of cigarettes that was his were found floating in the water. Police and fire fighters from Centralia searched the lake and found his body. An autopsy on Wednesday, March 10th showed injuries to his body. This was when Maue called in the other investigators so 17 of them went to work out of a headquarters in Carlyle.
A search of the pond by a recovery team from O’Fallon and around the pond by trained dogs turned up no weapon. Eventually the squad came to the conclusion there was no foul play and made a ruling that Downs had inflicted the wounds on his body himself, one of them fatal. He was a car detailer and the former drummer of a band called the Fifth Element.