Independence police identify body found in Ohio River as missing NKY man

CINCINNATI -- Independence police identified the body found in the Ohio River over the weekend as a Northern Kentucky man who went missing almost two years ago.

A man's body was found in a truck that was pulled from a section of the river near the California neighborhood in Cincinnati at about 7 a.m. Saturday, officials say.

The Independence Police Department confirmed Monday the man was 51-year-old Mark Allen Smith, an Independence man who went missing on Feb. 16, 2012. Smith apparently made purchases at a BP gas station on Taylor Mill Road and a UDF on Fairfield Road in Bellevue, police say.

Authorities said the truck pulled from the river is believed to be the same truck Smith was driving when he disappeared: a 1999 blue Ford Ranger pickup.

"We've always hoped he'd be found alive...it's bittersweet," said Jane Lewis, one of Smith's sisters.

Mechelle Wallace, Smith's other sister, told 9 On Your Side a wallet was found on the body when his body was pulled from the river. Wallace said she drives frequently by the area where her brother was found.

"I feel kind of sick knowing he's been in the river for two solid years knowing that we've been looking and searching and hoping and praying that we'd have a better outcome. I know that it's supposed to be closure when you find your missing loved one, but when this is what happens I don't know if you can really call it closure," she said.

Smith's sisters said he was the second oldest of four and leaves behind a son and a grandchild.

"I think there's foul play. I believe that somebody had to have put him there. Mark was very responsible, not self-inflict to put in river," said Lewis.

The family does not have funeral arrangements set up at this time.

The case remains under investigation.

Stay with 9 On Your Side and WCPO.com for updates.

 

Print this article Back to Top

Comments

or Subscribe now so you can share your opinion! It’s only a penny for a month trial.

Latest Forecast
More Local News
Todd Frazier falls in Home Run Derby final round
Todd Frazier falls in Home Run Derby final round

Todd Frazier stepped to the plate in the final round of the Home Run Derby, but fell short to Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes, who became the…

Big stink in Cincy: Composter, city pass blame
Big stink in Cincy: Composter, city pass blame

Neighbors are holding their noses while a compost company and the city blame each other for a $300K cleanup.

Downtown rally builds community to stop violence
Downtown rally builds community to stop violence

Organizers gathered in Piatt Park in downtown Cincinnati Monday night after two shootings last week that resulted in a man’s death.

Tri-State no longer under Severe T-Storm Watch
Tri-State no longer under Severe T-Storm Watch

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch in the Tri-State was lifted Monday at about 8 p.m.

Storms tear campers apart near outlet malls
Storms tear campers apart near outlet malls

Monday was a day of clean-up and repairs near the outlet malls on I-71 north of Cincinnati.

Toddler 'stable' after falling into pool
Toddler 'stable' after falling into pool

A Clermont County toddler is in stable condition at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Monday after falling into a pool.

2nd Lower Price Hill homicide suspect arrested
2nd Lower Price Hill homicide suspect arrested

Cincinnati police officers arrested a second suspect for the June 18 shooting death of a Lower Price Hill man.

Organizers: More fans, no problems at Bunbury
Organizers: More fans, no problems at Bunbury

Despite bouts of heavy rain this weekend, more fans than ever packed Sawyer Point and Yeatman's Cove for Bunbury Music Festival,…

Task force arrests 3 for heroin in Butler Co.
Task force arrests 3 for heroin in Butler Co.

Three Butler County residents were arrested for possession of heroin after sheriff’s deputies executed search warrants on Friday.

Another First Watch coming to Cincinnati-area
Another First Watch coming to Cincinnati-area

First Watch – a popular breakfast, brunch and lunch chain – plans to open its 10th Cincinnati-area restaurant this spring in…