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Berks County Coroner: Man found in creek appears to have died accidentally

Published On: Jun 29 2013 11:06:43 AM EDT

Rochelle Sweet Jr. was found dead in this creek in Lower Alsace Township.


The Berks County Coroner is saying a man found in a creek in Lower Alsace Township appears to have died accidentally.

Rochelle J. Sweet Jr.'s body was pulled from the water in the Pennside section of Lower Alsace Township Thursday evening.

On Saturday, the coroner released preliminary findings of an autopsy, noting that the "cause of death is consistent with that of an accidental fall into the creek," according to a release from the Central Berks Regional Police Department.


"It appears that Sweet struck his head when he fell, possibly went unconscious, and subsequently drowned," states the release from police.

Sweet, 66, lived alone in the 1600 block of Butter Lane in neighboring Exeter Township, said officials.

"I never saw anything like that before in my life," said Tonya Spiers, who was with her 5-year-old son when she made the gruesome discovery.

Spiers checked to see if the creek outside her home was flooding when she looked down and saw Sweet lying lifeless on his back against the cement, as water rushed over his body.

"I thought I was in a movie, actually. I didn't even know what to think at all. I just ran in the house. I was scared," she said.

Spiers' husband didn't believe her, so he went outside to look for himself.

"I was just shocked for something like that to take place. I never thought you'd find a dead guy in your creek," said Troy Spiers.

Spiers said her nerves were shot, and that image will never be erased from her head.

"I was telling my family I don't think I'll ever look in that creek again. It's just a little creepy," said Spiers.