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Missing Baytown Police Officer Found Dead

The search for a missing Texas police officer came to a sad conclusion on Tuesday morning.

Baytown, TX – The Baytown police officer who had been missing since Thursday was found dead in a field three miles from his home on Tuesday morning.

Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said that Baytown Police Officer John “Stewart” Beasley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, KHOU reported.

Sheriff Hawthorne, who was personal friends with 46-year-old Officer Beasley, said that investigators believed he died on Aug. 2, the same day he disappeared; however, none of the details have been confirmed yet.

Officer Beasley, a 23-year veteran of the Baytown Police Department, was last heard from at about 3:30 p.m. that afternoon when he left his home in the Cove area, KTRK reported.

His son arrived home around 4:15 p.m. and found his father missing, Sheriff Hawthorne said during a press conference.

He became concerned and contacted some law enforcement officers who were personal friends of Officer Beasley to ask if they’d seen him, and they had not.

Those officers looked for Officer Beasley everywhere they and his wife could think of, but didn’t find a sign of him anywhere.

After they were unable to locate him, Officer Beasley’s wife contacted the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office just before 9 p.m. and officially reported her husband missing, Sheriff Hawthorne said.

Deputies from the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, Baytown police officers, dog teams from Alpha Team Search and Rescue from League City, and Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s K9 team all worked together throughout the weekend to locate the missing officer but were unsuccessful, the sheriff said.

His cell phone was found in the woods behind his residence on Monday, and the battery had been removed from the phone, which explained why there had been no signal when they searched for it, Sheriff Hawthorne said.

At that point, the sheriff told reporters they’d believed Officer Beasley was still alive.

On Tuesday, drones, helicopters, and two teams of cadaver dogs were brought in to assist with the search, KTRK reported.

Officer Beasley’s body was spotted from a helicopter shortly thereafter, lying in an agricultural field.

“This is all too common in our business,” Baytown Police Lieutenant Steve Dorris said. “The truth is, we may never know what led this to occur, but what we do know is, it’s a tragedy. We lost a brother. We lost somebody we love.”

He said the officer wasn’t currently involved in any major cases.

“A big portion of his career was working the streets of Baytown,” Lt. Dorris said. “It’s the unfortunate drip, drip, drip of stress and trauma and chaos that we, as law enforcement officers, deal with on a daily basis that sometimes takes its toll.”

Officials said the officer hadn’t shown any signs of depression, and was in the middle of building a new house for his wife and children, KHOU reported.

Sandy Malone - August Tue, 2018

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