Commonwealth Journal


June 30, 2014

Authorities still probing death of man found in Lake Cumberland

Somerset —

The circumstances under which a southern Pulaski County man was found deceased on the waters of Lake Cumberland over the weekend are still being probed.
Keith Price, assistant chief of both the Parkers Mill Fire Department and the Somerset-Pulaski County Rescue Squad, said that around 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, a fisherman discovered a body floating on the surface of the water.
Price and Pulaski County Coroner Chuck Godbey both confirmed that the body was identified as being that of Justin Shelton, 32, of Burnside.
The body was discovered near a cliffside, between the Woodson Bend and Garland Bend areas on the lake. 
Price noted that Shelton was a frequent inhabitant of the Garland Bend area, “one of these that was all around Garland Bend at different addresses. He walked all the time.”
Godbey said the body didn’t appear to have been in the water “all that terribly long, maybe not even a full day.” Price said that Shelton might have fallen over the cliff the night before.
Why he fell is still under investigation — and whether or not he was deceased before reaching the water.
Godbey said the body had been sent to the state medical examiner’s office in Frankfort for an autopsy but noted that with a number of cases backed up in the state capital, he wasn’t sure when he’d receive information about Shelton.
“He had some lacerations,” said Godbey on Monday. “They’ll be able to tell if he had any broken bones.
“If I were just going to make a guess, I’d say he fell over the bank,” added Godbey. “It didn’t look like he planned on going swimming. I doubt it was a swimming accident. If he fell over the bank and got bumps and knocks and bruises by falling over the cliff, chances are it wasn’t a drowning ... but you don’t know.”
Price said that Shelton was removed from the water and put in a boat to be taken back to the shore.
The Somerset-Pulaski County Rescue Squad, Somerset-Pulaski County EMS, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, and Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife  responded to the scene.
Chris Harris is a staff writer for the Commonwealth Journal. He can be reached at

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