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Moore, OK, family hunts for answers in son's drowning

Facts surrounding last month's death of Roosevelt Livingston, 27, leave his family puzzled. State investigators and the Oklahoma medical examiner's office say nothing suggests foul play.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD zcampfield@opubco.com Published: June 21, 2012
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The mother of an Oklahoma City man who drowned at Lake Thunderbird last month said she is not satisfied with the state's investigation and will not rest until an autopsy is done.

Lyria Henderson, of Moore, said extenuating circumstances surrounding the death of her son, Roosevelt Livingston, lead her to believe there may be more to the story than a simple drowning.

But representatives with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the state medical examiner's office said the investigation found nothing suggesting foul play and nothing warranting an autopsy.

Henderson wants the public's help in financing a $4,000 independent autopsy.

Livingston, 27, was swimming with three female friends near buoys May 26 and was about 10 feet offshore of Zoom Beach when he went under and never resurfaced, authorities said.

The death was ruled an accidental drowning. A laboratory report released Tuesday indicates Livingston showed no signs of fatal trauma and that he had been drinking alcohol at the time of the drowning.

But Henderson said circumstances surrounding the incident lead her to believe her son's death was not an accident. She said that his swimming partners waited an hour before calling police, and that his cellphone was found with him in the water, its portable identification card removed.

“My son was no dummy — he wouldn't have gotten into that water if he was drinking,” she said. “But there's so many problems in the medical examiner's office I don't even want them to do an autopsy on my son.”

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