KARK, A Dead Body, Peculiar Circumstances and a Meteorologist at the Crime Scene

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It’s interesting to see how the Little Rock stations, and KARK in particular, cover the odd case of a local man found dead in a whirlpool bathtub, with some sort of dog collar around his neck, and veteran KARK meteorologist Brett Cummins in the house (and, reportedly, in the tub too), sleeping at the time.

KARK has a 104-word story on its site that you have to search a bit for. The story mention Cummins’ presence at the scene but does not offer much detail.

Writes the KARK site:

Our Meteorologist Brett Cummins was at the home at the time of the death and we felt we should share this with our viewers.

It’s much, much bigger news over at KATV–and represents the top two stories on KATV.com’s Most Popular list.

Reads one of the stories, from the AP, which has around a thousand Facebook “Likes” as of this morning:

The homeowner told police he found [Dexter] Williams in the tub with meteorologist Brett Cummins of Little Rock television station KARK. He says Cummins was asleep and promptly vomited after he awoke and saw that Williams was dead.

KTHV’s TodaysTHV.com, meanwhile, has a longer AP story with much more salacious details, and reports of what sounds like criminal behavior.

The story reads:

Barbour led police to his master bathroom, where they found Williams in an empty bathtub with some type of chain wrapped around his neck. “The officer that wrote that report says that it was indicative of a dog collar,” says Lt. Hansard.

Lt. Hansard and other investigators are releasing few details, but we do know from the police report, Barbour claims Cummins and Williams began drinking and snorting an illegal narcotic following their arrival the night before.

In the report, Barbour claims he found Cummins and Williams Monday morning in the empty bathtub. Barbour awakened Cummins, and both found Williams dead.

KARK says Cummins, a 10 year veteran of the station, is off the air while mourning the loss of his friend. Cummins’ bio appears on the site.

KARK GM Mike Vaughn did not respond to a call and email at presstime.

One commenter on the KARK site, ArkansasMatters.com, blasted the station for not providing the details of the strange case. Commented kbrand:

Great job on skirting around the freaking truth! Could you be more vague and leave out more details? Have you seen the police report? I have and he just wasn’t in the home but in the home, in the hot tub and evidently on some kind of snort-able drug and yanking on a dog collar! Yee Haw!!

Another calls for the resignation of Cummins and the KARK newsroom chief.

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