Officials: Foul play not suspected in Malta man’s death

Law enforcement officials said Friday they do not suspect foul play in the death of a Malta man who was found floating in the lock canal Aug. 11 behind the Valley Inn along Ohio 60 in Beverly.

John L. Duncan, 39, of 1055 North Riverview Road, Malta, was found in the canal that afternoon and had reportedly been one of several men involved in an altercation in the bar parking lot the previous night.

“It does not appear at this time that it is a homicide,” said Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.

Mincks did not elaborate on a theory about the death.

The investigation is still open. Investigating officers are waiting on toxicology results, which could take another two to three weeks to receive, said Mincks.

Witnesses at the bar reported that all of the men involved in the Aug. 10 fight appeared to be highly intoxicated.

That entire altercation was caught on tape, said Mincks, but he would not say if the video goes so far as to show Duncan entering the water.

At least one man was arrested as a result of the fight.

Timothy S. Wines, 42, of 70 Anderson Road, Waterford, was arrested for assault for apparently striking a friend of Duncan, James Bywater, in the head.

The altercation is still under investigation as well, said Beverly Police Chief Mark Sams. It has not yet been determined if additional charges will arise from the fight, he said Friday.