Coroner identifies body of man found near Eagle Marsh

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The coroner has identified the body of the man a member of a search party found on grassy land near Eagle Marsh Friday morning. A search party was organized by family and friends for the man after he didn’t show up to work early Thursday.

The Allen County Coroner’s Office confirmed Friday afternoon, at 3:30 p.m. that the man found was 58-year-old Johnny Hall. The cause of death was determined to be a gunshot wound and it was indicated that Hall took his own life.

The Allen County Sheriff’s Department had confirmed earlier at 10 a.m. that Hall’s body was found on Republic Services-owned land adjacent to Eagle Marsh near the 5100 block of Engle Road.

Johnny Hall
Johnny Hall

Around 3 p.m. Thursday, Fort Wayne Police and Indiana State Police, along with a police K-9 units and a search helicopter, began searching grasslands just off Engle Road after a red Chevrolet S-10 was found abandoned on the shoulder of the road. The search was suspended for the night just after 5 p.m. Thursday.

Matt Smith, who described himself as a friend, had previously identified Hall and said he was an outdoorsman who hunts, fishes and traps.

Fort Wayne Police spokeswoman Bridget Glaser said Thursday that the man later identified as Hall had animal traps set in the area and that he could have stopped to check them before he went missing.

The incident remains under investigation.

Police and search crews gathered around Eagle Marsh early Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 in search of a missing man.
Police and search crews gathered around Eagle Marsh early Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 in search of a missing man.