Taney County Coroner says man found in creek likely died of natural causes

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TANEY COUNTY, Co. Bull Creek Village in Taney is mostly quiet.

However everyone at a nearby convenience store was talking about what happened down the road. They were surprised to learn that a body was found in creek.

Authorities are still trying to figure out what happened.

Donald Ellis said, "It kind of freaked me out because I drove right through there and it's like what the heck's going on, you know!"

He, like many others, are talking about what they saw near the water's edge Wednesday afternoon.

"I saw a bunch of fire trucks and cops, the coroner. I didn't know what was going on. The firefighters were pulling up the rope from the bridge," he said.

"I just thought some car ran off the bridge or something like that. I didn't know what was going on," said Tony Bryan.

Ellis said, "Somebody told me they found a dead body."

William Roberts Junior, 58 years-old, of Branson was found in the shallow waters of Bull Creek under the bridge off Highway F, just before 1 p.m.

"There's pieces that we are still trying to put together. It doesn't appear that anything happened other than right there at the initial scene," Taney County Coroner Tony Mullen.

He said authorities are just starting their investigation but have a pretty good idea of what may have happened.

"His family (made the call). He'd been missing for a day and a half or so. They knew he'd went fishing. They kind of went looking for him and ended up finding him," said Mullen.

He said he doesn't think anything suspicious happened to cause Roberts' death.

"You go by the facts and right now what we have doesn't appear to be anything other than a medical issue," said Mullen.

Bryan, "It's such a shame but that's the way it goes."

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

Authorities said it will be a few weeks until they get results and confirm how Roberts died.