1 dead, 1 hurt in workplace accident at family business

ADAMS COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – An investigation is underway after a workplace incident at Manley Meats Inc. near Monroe Wednesday that left one man dead and another man in critical condition.

Thursday afternoon Adams County Sheriff Shane Rekeweg released the names of the two victims who were cousins. Justin Manley was pronounced dead at the scene while Mark Manley was airlifted to a Fort Wayne hospital. As of Thursday afternoon he was in critical, but stable condition.

Emergency crews were called to the business around 3:35 p.m. According to Sheriff Rekeweg, the two men were pulled from a pit by members of the Monroe Fire Department.

Adams County Coroner Leslie Cook said the two were working on a sewer pit when one or both of the individuals became unresponsive.

Following an autopsy, Cook determined Justin Manley, who was 40, died from asphyxia due to drowning caused by hydrogen sulfide gas toxicity. His death has been ruled accidental.

Manley Meats posted on its Facebook Page Wednesday evening it would be closed Thursday, “due to a family tragedy.” It did not offer any additional details. More than 400 people commented on the post offering condolences, thoughts, and prayers.


The family-owned business started in 1962 by Glen and Alice Manley, according to the company’s website. Several family members have helped with the business through the decades. It is currently owned by Marilyn Geyer, Roger Manley, Ron Manley, and Steve Manley.

Manley Meats offers catering, butchering, canning, and retail operations at its location on South 400 East.