6:39 PM
Ronnie J. Genandt mug shot (JCSO)
Authorities in Jasper County are treating a man's death as "suspicious" after he was found floating in Turkey Creek yesterday evening near Duquesne.

Captain Derek Walrod says a teenager who was squirrel hunting discovered the body of thirty-three year-old Ronnie J. Genandt off of east 7th near Travis Acres.

Walrod says at first there was some confusion in identifying Genandt because he was carrying the billfold and identification of a former roommate.  Positive identification the dead man, who may have been in the water for over a week, was made by a family member, according to Walrod. 

Captain Derek Walrod

Friends told investigators they had last seen Genandt around the holidays, said Walrod. 

Detectives aren't sure how Genandt died as there were no visible wounds on his body.  However, they are treating the man's death as a homicide until they receive autopsy results from Columbia.

Last April, Genandt was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine in Jasper County.  In May, he pleaded guilty to unlawful use of drug paraphernalia and was placed on one year unsupervised probation.  Then last August he was charged with possession of a controlled substance and driving while revoked after a Joplin police officer stopped to assist Genandt after his car had broken down. 

Genandt was charged with possession of methamphetamine in Newton County in April and he was bound over for trial on Decmber 6, 2011. On December 19, 2011, a warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to appear to be arraigned in circuit court on the drug charge in Newton County.

"When you find a thirty three year-old man dead in a creek in the middle of nowhere, well, let's just say there are still lots of unanswered questions," said Walrod.
UPDATE 01-26-12:

Genandt's death has been ruled an accidental drowning.  The investigation remains open pending final autopsy results.