Muscogee sheriff captain's death ruled accidental

tchitwood@ledger-enqurier.comFebruary 2, 2014 

Muscogee Sheriff's Capt. Larry Tew's death Sunday resulted from an accident, Coroner Buddy Bryan said today.

Bryan pronounced Tew dead Sunday at 2:10 p.m. in the captain's home on County Line Road in Midland. Police were summoned to investigate and an autopsy was planned, but Bryan said medical examiners did not feel an autopsy was warranted.

Bryan would not specify the nature of the accident, referring questions to the sheriff's office.

Muscogee Sheriff John Darr said today that he has not been informed of the precise circumstances of Tew's death.

The coroner said Tew, 58, was the father of two daughters. His wife was with one of the daughters in Florida when Tew was found dead Sunday, Bryan said.

The other daughter was home this weekend, and had watched a movie with her father until about 9:30 p.m. Saturday before they retired to their bedrooms, the coroner said. She awoke Sunday and went to work, and became concerned when Tew did not answer her phone calls home, Bryan said.

She asked her boyfriend and an uncle to check on Tew, and the two found Tew's body in his bedroom, the coroner said.

Darr said Sunday that he was stunned by news of Tew's death. "I was just talking to him the other day," said Darr.

Darr said Tew has been with the department more than 35 years. Much of Tew's work recently involved personnel and hiring.

"It is a tremendous loss to the department," said Darr. "He was a great worker. He had a great demeanor and treated people the right way. He showed them respect." Darr said his prayers go out to Tew's family.

Tew’s death follows a series of losses the Columbus police department suffered last summer, when four key officers died in three months.

Capt. Jackey Long, 63, a 25-year veteran, died July 8, about two months after being diagnosed with cancer.

Cpl. Keith Slay, 53, who had 28 years combined with the police department and the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office, died in the line of duty on July 30 after the truck he was driving collided with another vehicle, slid out of control and crashed into a utility pole on Veterans Parkway.

Capt. Vince Pasko, 51, a 31-year police veteran, died Aug. 27 in an apparent suicide.

On Sept. 20, Lt. Lynn Joiner, 58, died at St. Francis Hospital less than a month after he retired with more than 37 years of service. Joiner was a detective and supervisor with the department’s investigative bureau.

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