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Missouri emergency room doctor whose body found in Arkansas lake committed suicide, officials say

The death of a highly regarded Missouri emergency room doctor whose the body was found A suicide was reported at a lake in northwest Arkansas 11 months ago, Arkansas authorities said Thursday, in a case that fueled speculation on social media about whether his disappearance was linked to his cryptocurrency transactions.

Dr John Forsyth, 49, was last seen nearly a year ago near the RV he parked at the Cassville, Missouri, hospital where he worked. The father of eight who was engaged failed to show up for his shift at Mercy Hospital on May 21, 2023, sparking a search. There was no sign of him until a kayaker found his body May 30 in Arkansas’ Beaver Lake, about 20 miles south of the hospital.

This undated photo released by the Cassville Missouri Police Department shows Dr. John Forsyth.

/PA


Detectives with the Benton County, Arkansas, Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that Forsyth died of a gunshot wound to the head. An autopsy performed by the chief medical examiner at the Arkansas State Crime Lab concluded the death was a suicide.

“Detectives were unable to find any information or evidence that would cause us to dispute the medical examiner’s findings,” the sheriff’s statement said. “If objective and relevant physical evidence becomes available, these leads will be investigated on a case-by-case basis.”

The release also states that as part of their investigation, sheriff’s officers found surveillance video of Forsyth riding his bicycle to Beaver Lake. They said the bike was discovered near where Forsyth’s body was found.

The apparent mystery surrounding Forsyth’s death — and the lack of details made public — have drawn national attention to his case. He was engaged after divorcing twice from a previous wife, and his brother, Richard, described him as being excited about the upcoming marriage and a new child with his fiancée and that he had a plane ticket to go see one of his daughters.

Online publications covering cryptocurrency quickly took notice of his death. His brother said that after this, before his brother’s death, John Forsyth had made cryptic remarks about being in danger.

Richard Forsyth told OzarksFirst they believed someone was angry with his brother, but that person was overseas and he said he was convinced the incident was irrelevant to investigation.

“He expressed extreme emotions towards us, saying he would get revenge. And ultimately his campaign failed and we didn’t hear from him again,” Richard Forsyth said. “I don’t think that’s enough motivation to cross the Atlantic and cause trouble.”

Richard Forsyth did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment on the announcement from the Benton County sheriff.

John and Richard Forsyth founded Onfo LLC, what they called a “mining network” company, in 2018. At that time, Onfo’s website indicated that account holders could earn credits without investing any money. money, by referring others to the company.

Richard Forsyth said after his brother’s death that they both sought to give large numbers of people, including poor people in developing countries, the opportunity to invest in a decentralized digital currency. He said the brothers believed crypto had become driven by greed, “about Lamborghinis” and “billionaires and tax avoidance.”

But the brothers’ crypto activity isn’t the only reason the case has gained attention, as a Facebook discussion group now has more than 1,000 members.

Just ten days before John Forsyth’s disappearance, a judge finalized Forsyth’s second divorce, requiring him to pay an additional $15,000 per month to his ex-wife and $3,999 per month to support four of their children. But the separation was amicable, according to family members and the ex-wife’s lawyer.

A week after John Forsyth disappeared, his sister, Tiffany Andelin, wrote on Facebook that he had “disappeared, seemingly into thin air.”

“I’m grieving, I’m afraid, and I feel like the world has descended into chaos,” she wrote.

The sheriff’s department said the doctor was last seen walking to his RV in the parking lot of Mercy Hospital in Cassville, 40 miles west of the Ozark Mountains tourist destination of Branson , in Missouri.

But he reportedly disappeared from the parking lot of a public swimming pool in Cassville, about a mile from the hospital where he worked, which had not yet opened for the summer season. Richard Forsyth said his brother’s car was found there, unlocked, with two mobile phones, a laptop and important documents inside.


If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, you can reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis lifeline by calling or texting 988. You can also chat with the 988 Suicide lifeline & Crisis here.

For more information about mental health care resources and support, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or by email at info@nami.org.

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