An eighth body was pulled from a Texas lake Saturday, sparking fears that a serial killer could be on the loose, although police say the evidence doesn’t show the deaths are related.
During a press conference earlier this week, Officer Michael Bullock with the Austin Police Department confirmed that law enforcement found the body of John Christopher Hays-Clark, 30, in Austin’s Lady Bird Lake, at around 1:25 p.m. Saturday.
Hays-Clark was the latest victim found after law enforcement pulled seven other male bodies from the lake over the past 10 months.
“Our homicide unit did respond to the scene and are investigating this incident. As of right now, it is a very unfortunate incident but up to this point, we have not discovered anything suspicious tied directly to this incident,” Bullock said, referring to Hays-Clark.
“Our initial information doesn’t show anything suspicious, but we don’t make that final determination until the Medical Examiner has been able to make their review as well.”
Police said previously the deaths were coincidental, but the community is wanting more answers, Fox News reports. All victims were males and all were close in age and appeared to have frequented the same area in Austin, near the Rainey Street Entertainment District, before they died.
Other victims found dead in the lake include:
- Jason John, 30, found deceased on February 13, 2023
- Cliff Axtell, 40, found deceased on March 5, 2023
- Jonathan Honey, 33, found deceased on April 1, 2023
- Four unidentified bodies found within the last 10 months
Chron reports that speculation has been increasing in Austin and surrounding areas concerning a possible serial killer, with social media groups focusing on the deaths. The intense speculation prompted the Austin Police Department to respond to the situation, although there still remains no evidence that the deaths are related, police reiterated.
“One common theme of the drownings in Austin this year is the combination of alcohol and easy access to Lady Bird Lake,” Austin police said, adding that the autopsies “have not revealed any trauma to the bodies or indication of foul play.”
It’s currently unknown whether toxicology reports are available on the victims.
APD Statement on Lady Bird Lake Drownings pic.twitter.com/mpc3uuJJ1N
— Austin Police Department (@Austin_Police) April 3, 2023
“Every time I hear about a body, I feel like it’s more painful. You know, when I think about another, it is heartbreaking,” Jason John’s mother, Elsie John, told Fox 7.
Bullock assured the community that police would continue to investigate.
Meanwhile, the Interim City Manager is looking into installing Halo cameras in the area and is working with local bar owners and managers to prevent the over-serving of alcohol to patrons.
The story is developing. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Pixabay]