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Arkansas officials say a Missouri doctor whose body was found in a lake died by suicide

The death of a Missouri doctor who was found 11 months ago in a northwest Arkansas lake has been ruled a suicide, Arkansas authorities said Thursday.

Dr. John Forsyth died of a gunshot wound to the head, the Benton County, Arkansas, sheriff’s department said in a statement. An autopsy by the chief medical examiner at the Arkansas State Crime Lab concluded that it was a suicide.

The sheriff’s office said that its detectives located several surveillance videos of Forsyth riding a bicycle to the lake and the bicycle was located near where Forsyth’s body was found.

Forsyth, 49, didn’t show up for his May 21, 2023, shift at Mercy Hospital in Cassville, Missouri, where he had parked his RV. That prompted a search, and there was no sign of him until a kayaker noticed his body in Arkansas on May 30, at a spot on Beaver Lake about 20 miles (32 kilometers) away from his last known location.

— EDITOR’S NOTE — This story includes discussion of suicide. If you or someone you know needs help, the national suicide and crisis lifeline in the U.S. is available by calling or texting 988. There is also an online chat at

The mystery surrounding his death gave his case national attention. Social media have speculated that his death may have been connected to the cryptocurrency company that he co-founded with his brother.

“Detectives have not been able to find any information or evidence that would lead us to dispute the medical examiner’s findings,” the sheriff’s statement said. “If objective and relevant physical evidence becomes available, those leads will be investigated on a case-by-case basis.”