Family Questions Whether Man’s Death Was Accidental

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NEAR FENTON, MO (KTVI) -The family of a Fenton area drowning victim is questioning whether his death was accidental.  The body of 22-year old David Thomas was found Thursday morning in a private lake belonging to the San Luis Hills subdivision in southwest St. Louis County off Premio Road.

Thomas's sister, Stephanie Thomas, said Saturday that too many circumstances surrounding the drowning did not make sense.  She said Thomas had gone to party in the wooded area near the lake with two acquaintances Tuesday night.

"Why didn't they call 9-1-1 if he was in trouble?" she asked.

A neighbor who heard screaming near the lake did call 9-1-1, but the police officer dispatched to the area did not see anyone.

Ms. Thomas described her younger brother as a "strong swimmer" who would be unlikely to struggle in the shallow lake.  She also said he had a habit of removing his shirt if he was facing a fight.  His body was found without his shirt. That night temperatures fell below freezing.

"For him to be found with his shirt off I really feel in my heart that he fought somebody,"  she said.

St. Louis County Police have said alcohol probably was a factor in the drowning.  An autopsy has been completed by the St. Louis County Medical Examiner.  Detectives are now waiting for toxicology reports to determine if drugs or alcohol played a role in the death.

Thomas's body was discovered by one of the young men who had spent time with him Tuesday night.  Family members say they think the two acquaintances know more than they have told police.

Saturday night Stephanie Thomas appealed to both of them, "My brother can't say anything.  Be honest;  he died,  he died and he cannot breathe and he will not see Thanksgiving  or Christmas  so the least you can do is tell the truth."

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Police identify body pulled from lake near Fenton, MO

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