Sheila Stogsdill

Special to the Grove Sun

VINITA - A body found in a pond has been positively identified through DNA testing as that of a former Vinita man who had been missing more than a year and a half, authorities in Mississippi said Thursday.

The remains of William King, 41, were found Oct. 5 near Southaven, Miss., just south of Memphis, Tenn., said Southaven Police Lt. Mark Little.

Little said King’s death was ruled an accidental drowning and that foul play was not suspected.

King either fell asleep and drove off the road or drove off the road while trying to avoid hitting an animal, Little said.

A two-month drought in Mississippi caused water levels at a 15-foot-deep, 100-foot-long pond to drop three feet. Workers at a nearby warehouse discovered the top of King’s 1988 Mercury Cougar partially submerged in the mud, Little said.

A billfold with King’s identification cards was found with the skeletal remains, which were dressed in a one-piece zip-up FedEx uniform.

King, who worked as both a FedEx package handler and at the Horseshoe Casino in Tunica, Miss., was last seen March 27, 2009, after he left a FedEx facility.