April 25, 1998

04/25/98: Keith Noble, 19, Athens, OH

Keith Noble, 19, disappeared around 1:10 am after attending a party at 171 W. Washington Street near the west side of campus in Athens, Ohio. His friends reported him missing after he failed to return home. His body was found 11 days later in the Hocking River.

Recovery
Two students walking along the river found his body on May 6 at 2:45pm in the Hocking River 200 yards south of the White's Mill dam near 2 White Mill Drive on the south river bank near the west side of campus. His driver's license was found in the wallet in his pants' pocket. Investigators do not know where or how Noble entered the river. A preliminary autopsy conducted by the Franklin County Coroner's office was consistent with a drowning, according to Athens Police Lt. David Williams. The secondary cause of death was intoxication. The final autopsy showed that Noble had a blood alcohol level of 0.24 percent. The condition of the body was consistent with the body having been in the water since Noble's April 25 disappearance, according to the Franklin County Coroner's office. "A visual inspection of the body by the coroner's office did not indicate physical violence prior to Noble's death," Williams said. Noble lived at 310 Mackinnon Hall.

Facts of Interest in this Case
Name/age: Keith Noble, 19 (originally from Worthington, OH)
College: Ohio University (Athens, OH)
Physical description: no information
Last seen: 04/25/98, 1:10 am, Athens, OH
Recovered: 05/06/98, Hocking River near White's Mill Dam
Cause of death ruling: drowning, intoxication
Injuries: no indication of physical violence
Blood Alcohol Content: 0.24

6 comments:

Lisa said...

The facts of this post were taken from various newspaper reports that listed Keith Noble as being an Ohio State University (OSU) student. Keith was not an OSU student, but a Ohio University student. I have corrected the post to reflect this change.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for fixing it lisa! Great job with the site. The "last seen" would also need to be Athens, not Columbus, just FYI. Also, thought I would mention I was at OU at the time and thought I remembered something about drugs and that being out of character for him...and something was weird about his shoes. Might be worth asking if there is someone at OU that can pull the stories from The Post if you haven't seen them...thanks again for the blog!

Anonymous said...

Having attended OU and been a resident of the area for over a decade, the strangest thing to me about this particular tragedy is the location of events. Keith was last seen on West Washington which is located in the uptown area. MacKinnon, where Keith reportedly lived, is an underclassmen residence hall located on the south green. It's a bit of a walk, but nothing that OU students (especially underclassmen who are not permitted to have cars on campus) are not accustomed. Regardless, to end up near the river in the area his body was found, Keith would have had to have walked in the complete opposite direction of his residence hall. The local paper (the Athens Messanger) reported that police dogs had traced his scent to the Richland Avenue bridge and lost it, thus a presumption that this is where he fell over...problem is he was found upstream from this location 200 yards from White's Mill. (I am guessing he emerged on the sand bar that is located in the middle of the river about 200 yards downstream from White's Mill). My guess is that he got into a car on Richland Avenue bridge which explains the lost scent...anyway, with regard to directions and distances and the layout of the city of Athens, none of this makes much sense. My guess is that someone else saw him that night, or he went somewhere after he left the party. I don't know that I buy that he was murdered, but there is certainly some key information missing from what is presently known.
-ouguy2003

Chris said...

I agree with ouguy 2003. I was an RA at OU in the Crawford/MacKinnon complex when this happened. I didn't know him very well but I remember the room and it didn't seem like the type to do anything crazy. Knowing Athens well, I completely agree with the fact that he was found upstream, before where the Hocking was diverted into a levee system. All of the new information about a possible serial killer certainly seems plausible these days. God rest Keith.

Anonymous said...

this is a sad story. i live in athens and i dont remember seeing it in the paper but i over heard another guy talking about it... and it seemed a little strange.

Dan in Detroit said...

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Smiley face victims JOHN SCHNICKE, move the N=JOHNS CHICKEN
(Zodiac killed JOHNS)-Zodiac symbols at 3 smiley face murders
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SWANson
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yellow MULE
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PIKE
BLUE, MARLON
BEASley