Park Hills Police Chief Richard McFarland said the autopsy has been completed on Chris Burtchett.
Burtchett, 39, of Park Hills, had been missing since March 17. On Wednesday evening, a young boy found the body in the Flat River just northeast of the Elvins Park area near the Central High School football field where Burtchett had last been seen. Hours later, family members were able to positively identify the body as that of Burtchett.
“The autopsy revealed no signs of trauma whatsoever,” said McFarland. “There were no gunshots, stab wounds, or any other signs of injury.”
McFarland said that they will now have to wait for toxicology screening to come back, which can take three to six weeks.
Witnesses reported that at the time of his disappearance, Burtchett had been high on “flakka”, which is a synthetic drug that resembles small white gravel and the high from it is often comparable to cocaine. The problem with “flakka” is that it much more dangerous than cocaine and often leads to death.
In an interview with his mother Guyann Burtchett on Tuesday, she told the Daily Journal that she had always been able to feel all three of her kids in her heart, but that since he had been missing she could no longer feel Chris.
“I know in my heart that he’s dead,” said Guyann on Tuesday afternoon.
Guyann reached out to the Daily Journal on Thursday morning to thank the young man who found Chris’ body.
“I would also like to thank the Park Hills Police Department for all of their hard work in investigating and helping to search for my son,” said Guyann. “In addition, I would like to thank the Missouri State Highway Patrol, members of the Park Hills Fire Department, and private citizens.”
Guyann also thanked the Daily Journal for bringing the case to light and getting information about Chris out to the public.
“God bless you all, each and every one of you, whose outpouring of love and compassion made it possible for me to finally bring Chris home and give him the proper burial he deserves,” said Guyann.
The family is seeking donations to assist with Chris’ funeral expenses and ask that any donations would be sent directly to Coplin Funeral Home at 910 Taylor Ave. Park Hills, Missouri 63601.