Man dies of suspected accidental drowning in Nocatee

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According to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, Scott Matthew Perry, 41, died last Friday, July 20 after the golf cart he and his brother were driving got stuck in a flooded section of a wooded area in Nocatee. The cause of death, authorities suspect, was accidental drowning.

According to Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan, the incident occurred Friday night when Perry and his brother were driving in the wooded area just south of Village Grande Drive in Nocatee.

“Needless to say, we’ve had a lot of rain,” Mulligan said. “There was a washout somewhere on the dirt road that they were on. They tried to go around the washout, and what they did was they ended up sticking the golf cart.”

When the two brothers attempted to move the cart, Perry slipped, became submerged under the water and did not resurface right away. His brother pulled him from the water, and believing that Perry was okay, left to get tools from his truck to move the cart.

“When the other brother came back, (Perry) was in a slightly different position … and was again face down in the water,” Mulligan said.

Noting that the Sheriff’s Office received multiple inquiries as to whether Perry’s death may have been a result of foul play, Mulligan advised that the medical examiner found no signs of trauma.

“There’s no obvious signs of foul play — no injuries, no damage,” he said. “These are just two brothers who, apparently they’re very much like best friends, and they were just out hanging out Friday night and it looks like one of them had an accidental drowning.”

Although accidental drowning has been ruled the cause of death at this time, Mulligan added that investigators are still awaiting toxicology reports and the investigation is ongoing.

“We don’t have all the answers yet,” he said, “but we’re continuing to process this investigation, and if anything else arrives, then obviously we’ll look at that.”

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