People hoping to beat the Memorial Day heat with a dip in the Spring River at Kellogg Lake Park were greeted with the shocking sight of a dead man on the opposite bank under the Missouri Highway 96 bridge.
"We came out here for a bike ride and a picnic lunch at the park," said Teresa Sanders, who sat a picnic bench with Mike Standley, both of Webb City. "Sadly, we're greeted with a tragedy at the park. It's not really the joyful day at the park we hoped for."
Carthage Police Chief Greg Dagnan said the dead body of a man was found under the west pillars of the Missouri 96 bridge over Spring River, opposite a popular gravel beach in Kellogg Lake Park.
In a written release, Carthage Police said they received a call at 11:25 a.m. on Monday of a man lying under the highway bridge. Police said officers found a 47-year-old man dead and lying partially in the water on a gravel bank.
The name of the victim was released after 5 p.m. Tuesday, Reynaldo Fuentes, of Carthage.
Dagnan said at first glance it did not appear foul play was involved.
"It looks like he was there fishing this morning," Dagnan said. "A bike is there with some stuff in bags. Nothing looks suspicious, but that could change as the investigation continues."
Sanders and Standley ate their lunch on a picnic table out of the line of sight of the crime scene and watched as dozens of people drove down the dead end road to see what was happening.
Sanders said she saw families with small children walking or driving down the road to see the crime scene.
The man's body was still out in the open under the bridge two hours after he was found.
"It's very disturbing to sit and eat lunch with a man's dead body nearby," Sanders said. "It seems kind of irreverent."
"You just don't think about something like this happening this close to home, or in a park like this," added Mike Standley.
Jack and Jenice Silvers, Carthage, also came to Kellogg Lake Park for a quiet holiday.
"We were just going to sit by the river," Jenice Silvers said. "We usually come out to the park to have a picnic and it is shocking to see someone dead out there. I hope it wasn't foul play, his (Jack Silvers') mother lives right over there by the park and we don't want something bad like that happening close to her."