Pecos Man Found Dead; Heat Exhaustion May Be Cause 8/5/11
CBS 7 News
August 5, 2011
Reeves County, TX - New details tonight into the disturbing story of man killed by the west Texas elements.
The Sheriff's Office says 60-year-old James Luis Nixon and 69-year-old John David Barrett have gone to the same area for years searching for arrowheads.
"They go out there for a couple of hours until the heat comes- they don’t stay out there that long," said Capt. Reno Lewis with the Reeves County Sheriff’s Office.
It was a leisure outing that turned deadly in less than six hours.
Capt. Lewis says the two separated, when Nixon got a phone call- his friend was lost.
"It was finally about 12:30 p.m.,” Lewis said, “He (Barrett) made contact with him (Nixon), he said he was pretty delusional then."
Lewis says Nixon continued to look for Barrett for about two more hours before calling 9-1-1. By then temperatures were hitting triple digits.
"It was over 100 degrees," he said.
A massive search then began, US Border Patrol, deputies, TX Rangers, Game Wardens, K-9 units and DPS helicopters were involved.
"It is real heavy brush making it difficult to find him," Lewis said. "It was pretty hot."
By 5:41 p.m. John Barrett’s body was spotted from the helicopter.
Only ATV's and officers on foot could get to him.
Initially, the two men set out with just a bottle of coke for hydration.
"They left it under a tree or brush and never made it back,” Lewis said.
The Captain says heat exhaustion was a factor to Barrett’s death.
"Heat is a real bad factor it will take it out of you quick," Lewis said.
Barrett’s body was transferred to El Paso for an autopsy; they say there might be additional health problems prior to his death.
CBS 7 News Staff
(Pecos)- It’s a disturbing story out of a Pecos.
A man who got lost while hunting rocks has been found dead.
After a massive search for the lost man Thursday afternoon, the Reeves County Sheriff's office found the man dead just before 6 o'clock.
69-year-old John David Barrett was looking for arrowheads near Highway 285 south of Pecos Thursday with his friend 60-year-old James Nixon.
Captain Reno Lewis says Nixon called them when he couldn't find his friend Barrett.
Nixon tells officials when Barrett last answered his phone he sounded disoriented.
The Sheriff's office tells CBS 7 that they were assisted by DPS Troopers; Border Patrol officers, helicopter support and searchers on horseback.
The search took four hours before Barrett was found.
The sheriff's office tells us Barrett's body is being sent off for an autopsy, and heat exhaustion is believed to have contributed to his death.