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June 2012
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No foul play suspected in doctor's death

BY LAUREN P. DUNCAN lduncan@paducahsun.com

Although an autopsy report was not complete Thursday, the death of a Grand Rivers man is being considered an accident.

John P. Lyles, 60, went missing July 2 after he was last seen walking away from his home.

Hundreds of volunteers and emergency responders flocked to tourist-packed Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley throughout the weekend to search for the optometrist, who left without medication that was essential to his health.

A team of cadaver dogs discovered Lyles' body at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday near a walking trail off of Ky. 453, one week after he was reported missing.

"From the way things are looking, it looks like it was an accidental death," Livingston County Sheriff's Deputy Kenny Vincent, who headed the search, said Thursday.

Vincent said he could not confirm the cause of death, such as whether it involved the heat or Lyles' need for medication, until after the autopsy report is complete.

While the autopsy was under way beginning Thursday morning, Vincent said samples will be sent to Frankfort for toxicology testing.

Crew searched more than 3,700 square acres of land around the lakes, as well as 12 miles of shoreline, which was covered twice. But Lyles' body was found about 1.5 miles from his Marina Village home, which is a small neighborhood between downtown Grand Rivers and a nearby campsite.

Vincent said it was likely Lyles was not found during the extensive search because of how far into the woods he was discovered. Vincent said crews had planned on going deeper into the thick woods on Thursday, the day after canines found Lyles' body.

Contact Lauren Duncan, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8692 or follow @laurenpduncan on Twitter.

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