Dr John Forsyth was the happiest his family had seen him in a long time.
His divorce was recently finalized and he has asked his new partner to marry him.
Three days after the proposal, 49-year-old Forsyth – who had also launched a cryptocurrency business with his brother – left his hospital shift in the Missouri Ozarks and told his new fiancee he would see her soon.
Seven’s father was never seen or heard from again.
On Tuesday (May 30), after nine days of a desperate search, Forsyth’s body was found by a kayaker in a lake in northwest Arkansas.
His car had been found unlocked and abandoned at an aquatics center a few days earlier — along with his passport, wallet, two phones, laptop and keys to his RV.
Why the doctor’s fate took such a disastrous turn remains a mystery, with his grieving family members now desperate for answers.
Here’s what we know so far about the case:
last known movement
Forsythe, 49, was last heard from on May 21 at around 7am.
The emergency room doctor had just finished a shift at Mercy Hospital in Cassville, a remote town of 3,100 residents in the Missouri Ozarks.
He was texting his new fiancee as he planned to visit her from the hospital.
His brother Richard Forsyth said, “He was texting things like ‘Hey, my shift’s over’ and ‘I’ll see you in a while’.” the daily beastLast week.
“And then minutes later, he stops responding to text messages and is seen walking to his RV.”
Forsythe often parked his RV in the hospital parking lot so he could sleep in it when on call.
A few minutes later at approximately 7.15 p.m., Forsyth was captured on surveillance footage driving his second vehicle – a black Infinity – into the parking lot of the Caysville Aquatic Park.
Richard said minutes later a white SUV was caught pulling up close to the vehicle.
A few minutes later the SUV left and Richard said his brother was seen exiting his vehicle and walking around about 10 to 15 minutes later.
“And then he walks away with his car,” he said.
The alarm was raised later that day when Forsyth failed to show up for his next shift at the hospital.
Both the hospital and his brother said it was completely out of character for him to miss work.
In the 15 years she worked at Mercy Hospital, the dedicated doctor never missed a single shift.
The hospital said, “Dr Forsyth never missed a shift without notifying us first, so when he failed to turn up for his scheduled shift, and we were unable to contact him, we became concerned and Alerted the authorities.”
“We invite everyone to join us in praying for his safe return.”
Richard told the daily beast “He wouldn’t spare a change even if his eyes were hanging out of their sockets”.
“It was an immediate red flag,” he said.
His hospital colleagues reported him missing to the Cassville police that day.
Two days later on May 23, Forsyth’s Infinity was found abandoned in a remote area near the Cassville Aquatic Center.
The car was left unlocked and investigators found two of his cellphones, laptop, keys, wallet and passport inside.
Multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Missouri State Highway Patrol, conducted an extensive search of a nine-mile radius around the park.
Thermal imaging drones and K9 dogs were drafted in to help with the search but they yielded no clues to the doctor’s whereabouts.
As the search began, Forsyth’s desperate family members set up a Facebook page called “Find Dr. John Forsyth” to raise awareness of the case and solicit information from the public.
On Monday, Forsyth’s sister Tiffany posted an update about her brother.
“My brother is missing for a week now. I’m hurting, I’m scared, and it feels like the world has plunged into complete chaos,” she wrote.
“I’ve often felt that Johnny and I are two sides of the same coin. Our lives have taken us in very different directions, but over the years we have been bound by our burning desire to understand the mysteries of the universe, and I treasure those conversations like precious jewels. I rarely meet anyone with whom I can bounce ideas off like he can.
“Now he’s vanished, seemingly into thin air. We have much more to talk about. I’m so afraid he’s gone now. Please don’t let this be how it ends.” The hole he will leave in my life will be empty forever. Please help us find him.
Forsyth’s family said there were no warning signs before his disappearance as speculation and theories spread online.
Richard said he last saw his brother just days before he went missing and that he seemed “the happiest” he had seen him in a while.
“We had dinner on the Wednesday before he disappeared, and we sat and talked for three hours,” she told the AP.
“I told her it was the happiest I’ve seen her in a long time. Their divorce was finalized on May 11, and I think it gave her energy for the future.
Forsyth was also making plans for the future, proposing to his new girlfriend three days before he disappeared.
Richard said that he was a father to their seven children and genuinely cared for his patients.
As the case attracted attention online, speculation grew that the doctor’s disappearance could be linked to his recent divorce or the cryptocurrency business he started with his brother.
In his divorce, Forsyth was granted a court order to pay approximately $20,000 in child support and alimony to his ex-wife.
Richard told ozarksfirst that the amount of money was “not a concern” to his brother.
A second rumor suggested that there might be some connection between his disappearance and the brothers’ crypto business.
Richard told local outlets that one man was furious with Forsyth and vowed “revenge”.
But he said the man in question was somewhere overseas and insisted that neither the man nor the business enterprise was linked to his brothers’ disappearance.
“He expressed some extreme feelings towards us that he would seek revenge. And ultimately their campaign failed, and we didn’t hear from them again,” Richard said.
“I don’t think that’s going to be sufficient motivation for someone to cross the Atlantic and cause trouble.”
While the family tried to quell the rumours, Richard said his brother’s disappearance was “suspicious”.
“A lot of oddities about her disappearance and after an investigation police have agreed that the circumstances are quite suspicious,” he said.
The search ended in tragedy on Tuesday (May 30) when Forsyth’s body was discovered in a lake in northwest Arkansas’ Benton County.
“My brother has been found and he is dead. Thank you to everyone who assisted with the search,” Richard wrote in a heartbreaking Facebook post.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that the body was found by a kayaker. The cause of death appears to be gunshot wound.
Although the full circumstances surrounding the tragic discovery are not yet clear, Cassville police said associated Press that there were no signs of foul play.
Forsyth’s family told KOLR that they are meeting with detectives Wednesday to seek additional information.