The Cocke County Sheriff’s Department is continuing its investigation into the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the partially clothed body of a Bean Station man on Sunday.
Chief Cocke County Deputy Derrick Woods said the body of Michael Lynn Hickey, 39, Rocky Summitt Road, was found under the Briar Thicket Bridge, which crosses the Nolichucky River, at the Cocke/Greene county line.
Cocke County Central Dispatch received a call at 1:40 p.m. following the discovery of the body.
“Upon officers’ arrival, they discovered a male partially in and out of the water, and we later identified the body as Mr. Hickey. We sent the body for an autopsy examination, and the preliminary finding is that Mr. Hickey died of drowning.”
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has been called into the investigation, along with sheriff’s Detective Bob Schaff and other members of the department.
There was no vehicle or other persons at the site. The investigation is targeted at locating other individuals Hickey may have been with prior to his death.
Woods said the investigation also is attempting to determine if the victim fell into the river where his body was found or if he may have fallen into the water upstream and floated to the scene where the body was discovered.
“We are trying to determine what brought him to the water, why he was in the water, whether anyone was with him and how long he had been there,” the officer said.
Woods added that the autopsy did not reveal trauma to the body.
“At this point in time, our findings and the findings of the initial autopsy indicate that nothing other than a drowning had taken place.”