It’s been just over a week since anyone has heard from John Forsyth, an emergency room physician in Cassville, Missouri. He last contacted his fiancée early on May 21 when he texted her that he would be home soon after finishing the overnight shift at the town’s Mercy Hospital. But he never came home.
When his family went looking for him, his brother found surveillance footage of Forsyth walking toward his RV outside the hospital. They also found his car unlocked at a nearby park with two cellphones, a wallet, passport, driver’s license, his work briefcase, and the keys to both vehicles inside, so they called the police and posted missing person notices on social media.
The search came to an end earlier this week when a kayaker found the body floating in Beaver Lake in Arkansas. According to his loved ones, the doctor, 49, had a bright future ahead of him, having just proposed to his girlfriend three days before he went missing.
“The last few days have been hell. We are devastated,” his brother Richard Forsyth said during an interview with CNN. “We were all gathered at dinner with family, extended family, and John’s fiancée when the state police came to report that his body was found. We’ve been reeling since the news. The revelation about him being shot has sent new ripples of anguish.”
More surveillance footage showed his car arriving at a local park before an SUV pulled up beside it. After a few moments, Forsyth gets out of the car and walks away but it’s not clear where he went.
“He was never without these essentials,” Richard Forsyth said of all the things they found inside the car. “It said something was terribly wrong.”
His family also noted that the ER doctor recently finalized a divorce. The court ordered him to pay thousands of dollars a month in child support.
“John Forsyth is a beloved son, brother, father, and member of the community. He has served others as a physician for over twenty years. Nothing in life can prepare a family for the worry and heartbreak that comes with a nightmarish situation like this,” his loved ones posted on social media.
Tiffany Forsyth, his sister, said she is still looking for answers. “I’ve often felt like Johnny and I are two sides of the same coin. Our lives have led us in very different directions, but in the last couple of years we’ve been bonding over our intense desire to understand the mysteries of the universe, and I’ve treasured those conversations like precious jewels,” she wrote on Facebook after her brother went missing but before his body was found.
“I rarely meet anyone I can toss around ideas with like he can…” she concluded. “We have so much more to talk about.”
Richard explained that he recently met up with his brother over dinner. “We talked about a lot of things… how happy he was. We talked about our cryptocurrency project… we talked about life. Our plans to renovate a building,” he added, emphasizing that his brother wasn’t the type to take his own life, considering his recent engagement.
“He was the happiest I’d ever seen him in his life. He’d even started a garden. This is not a profile of someone who killed himself.”