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Preliminary autopsy results show that a 70-year-old Marshall man whose body was found at Lake O’ The Pines last Thursday died of drowning, and officers do not suspect foul play, Upshur County Sheriff Larry Webb said Monday.
Webb’s office said Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens discovered the body of Sammy Lynn Lento “shortly after daybreak” in the lake near the area of the Texas 155 bridge. Webb had announced the prior day he was missing.
Sheriff’s Chief Deputy David Hazel said in an email last week that “We believe he just drowned after getting out of his boat due to motor trouble.”
In a news release issued the day before the body was found, Webb said the sheriff’s office and game wardens were investigating Lento’s disappearance after citizens found the man’s “unoccupied boat adrift” in the lake that day near the area of the bridge.
Investigators learned acquaintances of Lento were already looking for him since he had not replied to phone calls or texts, said Webb, adding “The boat’s physical condition indicates that it may have been experiencing motor trouble while in the water. It is also possible that someone had exited the boat to work with the motor.”
The sheriff also noted that game wardens were searching the area until dusk “with equipment that aids in underwater search,” and that they were planning to continue searching the next day “with personnel coming in from the area to assist.”
Upshur County Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Lyle Potter pronounced Lento dead and ordered the autopsy.