Preliminary autopsy reveals Seminary man dies of heart attack moments after altercation

COVINGTON COUNTY, Miss. - A weekend altercation at the Okatoma Outdoor Post left one employee dead and authorities closing in on a suspect.

Covington County Sheriff Stann Smith said Chris Tisdale, 47, of Seminary was pronounced dead at the Forrest General Hospital Saturday night.

According to Sheriff Smith the preliminary autopsy results revealed Tisdale's cause of death was a heart attack. "The full autopsy is not complete, and the investigation is still ongoing" said Sheriff Smith.

Sheriff Smith said the incident occurred around 6:30 p.m. Saturday inside the bathroom of the Okatoma Outdoor Post on Walter Lott Road.

"An altercation started between a few workers and a big camp group of about 30 people from Louisiana" said Sheriff Smith. He added, "Chris went to calm the situation down and that's when it continued to escalate and then continued outside."

The group from Louisiana were in their 20's to 30's and Sheriff Smith said alcohol was a factor, "I am pretty sure alcohol was involved."

"Chris was hit in the throat and it crushed his larynx" Sheriff Smith said. Deputies questioned around 20 people from the group, but no one saw who hit Tisdale.

A 17-year-old boy told authorities the man who hit Tisdale was wearing a white tank top and and grey shorts, but was unable to identify the suspect.

People from Madison county witnessed Tisdale fall to the ground, but did not see what happened moments before.

"Right now we just cannot charge anyone because all we have is multiple stories, and no physical evidence" said Sheriff Smith.

Sheriff Smith said, "After we gather more information the case will be presented to the grand jury, and they will decide who to indict."

The department is asking anyone who saw anything or knows any details to give authorities a call at (601) 765-8281.


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