Dead man found in pond near Walmart in Bradenton identified

cnudi@bradenton.comMay 10, 2012 

BRADENTON -- The name of the man found dead in a retention pond near Walmart on Cortez Road has been identified.

The Bradenton Police Department identified the victim as Mark Allen Metcalf, 48. His body was retrieved from the pond in the 5300 block of Cortez Road on Saturday afternoon.

Lt. John Affolter, department spokesman, said the medical examiner has yet to release the cause of death.

A toxicology report, which will indicated if alcohol or drugs were involved, has not been completed, Affolter said.

Metcalf was believed to be homeless and his family is from out of state.

At about 3:30 p.m. Saturday a Walmart employee saw what appeared to be a floating body in the pond east of the parking lot and called the authorities.

Bradenton Fire Department firefighters responded and recovered the body from the pond.

Saturday was the second time emergency personnel were called to the pond. On May 3 Bradenton police were called out on a report of a man being missing in the water.

At that time, two men called for help after they said they

were swimming with another friend who went under the water but failed to surface.

Gerald Almond, 71, said he was in the Walmart parking lot putting his groceries into his car when a man came up and asked him to call 911.

"He looked like he was in a panicked situation," Almond said. "He was all wet and everything,"

Almond said he called 911, and by the time he got his groceries locked up and walked to the pond the firefighters were there.

"One fireman took a long grappling pole and got into the water," he said. "He had a rope tied around him and another fireman walked with him around the pond poking under the water."

Almond said the firefighter never went under the water, "but was up to his neck in a couple of places."

The firefighters and the Manatee County Sheriff's Dive Team could not find anyone.

Also, a Walmart surveillance video showed a soaking wet man entering the store about an hour after the 911 store, which was one of the men who were swimming with the group identified as his missing friend.

Affolter said Wednesday there was some discrepancies with that identification.

"Only two of the three witnesses said they were sure man in the video was their friend," he said. "The third witness was not so sure."

The investigation into Metcalf's death was not being treated as a homicide.

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