|Simeon "Nick" McCarty|
Earlier in the night, about 9 or 9:30, Nick had been at friend Matt Robinson's house. Nothing was reported to be out of the ordinary as Matt dressed and then left with Nick. The two drove in Matt's car to meet a second friend, Chad Hupp, a childhood friend of Nick's.
Nick had been excited to reunite with Hupp, and told his family that the outing couldn't have come at a better time. His friend, Matt, was just getting over being mad at him. For eight months, Nick had tried leaving messages, visiting Matt, and even leaving notes at his house and car, but he got no response from his friend. Nick had about decided to let it go, and seemed comfortable enough with that decision, but ultimately ended up going out for a night on the town with Robinson and Hupp.
The Dragon is a small, crowded Irish pub with pathways that wind their way through to the back door. The upper room has a deck where customers sometimes participate in karaoke performances. The details are not known, but at some time during the night, Nick disappeared.
By 3 a.m., when Nick hadn't returned home, his father became frantic. He told himself that Nick must be staying with one of his friends and would call in the morning. But he never did. Two days later, Nick's body was found.
Nick McCarty found
Nick's badly decomposed body was found floating face up in the Kentucky River around 5 p.m. on June 7, 2005 by a couple out for a cruise in their pleasure boat. It had been found near the busy downtown area between the world-famous 'Singing Bridge' and the Capitol Bridge which leads thousands of tourists across to Frankfort, the capitol city, and the governor's mansion. After seeing what they thought was a body, the couple traveled to the River Cafe to report what they had seen. Around that time, a state trooper had been searching the vegetation along this stretch of river bank; he was picked up and taken to the body.
Due to the current, the body traveled downstream a bit until it was recovered from the water. Nick's arms and hand were out of the water in a slightly bent position, his face pointing to the sky.
No foul play was initially suspected, and after an autopsy, the state medical examiner determined that McCarty drowned accidentally.
Nick's mother, Nancy, is convinced that someone may have additional information in Nick's case that may be helpful. She said, "Someone out there knows something about this. Contact state police or the McCarty's. You may not have been interviewed by police, but your information is vital! You may not have known until reading this that you have something to report. Nothing is too small!"
Two strong witnesses have already come forward who believe they heard shouting and screams coming from the river on the night.
Two men were sitting on the dock, relaxing, after closing their "River Cafe". The night was quiet and the water calm, and they heard shouting and screams followed by a splash in the water at 1:15 am on Saturday, June 5, 2005. The men, who are reported to be "veteran river dwellers," were startled enought that they jumped into their jon boat and headed toward the sounds. They turned on the boat's trolling lights and used flashlights to sweep the dark waters and up and down the river banks. The men were surprised and puzzled when they found nothing. They felt strongly about the time this occurred. The men told their story to the police and repeated the story to Nick's parents exactly the same way with "undeterred conviction and fervor."
Nick's body was found in the small area the men had gone to that night. It was adjacent to the pub Nick had visited.
But how Nick got into the river, or even TO the river, is unknown. According to Nancy McCarty, the area along the banks is shallow, "causing a person to have to walk far out, maneuvering past old refrigerators and tall weeds to get to a deeper part."
About Nick McCarty
Nancy McCarty, Nick's mother, has created a Memorial Web site for her son. The site describes how Nick was a huge Nascar fan. He collected diecasts and other memorabilia from his favorite teams which included Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, and Bill Elliott. He was also an Elvis fan and a very good Elvis impersonator. He entertained family, friends and many locals complete with wig, costume, karate stage moves, and vocals to My Way, Viva Las Vegas, and the last song he sang to his daddy- Don't Cry Daddy.
Nick was named after his father, Simeon "Bud" Frederick McCarty, who passed away Saturday, June 20, 2009 after complications from a broken left shoulder and three broken ribs sustained in a fall. Nancy McCarty said Nick's father looked forward to seeing and being with his son again. "Father and son shared the same name, a life together in their home, a love of sports, and great love for each other, their family, and the world around them."
Nick enjoyed basketball--all sports, in fact--and he was good at everything he tried. He was a fast runner and played softball for three seasons. He also liked three-wheeling, roller-skating, and video games.
He worked at the Capitol View Park where he marked ball fields with chalk lines and did landscaping and maintenance of the fields and trails. He loved his job and his coworkers. His former manager, Buck Wilhoite, recounted that Nick looked forward to going to work every morning:
"He set the example for the other part time workers to follow. Nick probably had more knowledge about getting a ball field ready for play than any other part time worker. As the saying goes, the acorn doesn’t fall very far from the tree. He learned these skills by watching his Dad and his crew getting the ball fields ready in London, Ky where he grew up.Nick's brother, Bradley, also wrote a eulogy to Nick:
Nick was often assigned to me to do special jobs, such as winterizing the rest rooms before cold weather set in, airfying and seeding eleven athletic fields, working on the irrigation system, etc. Without exception Nick not only was willing to work, he wanted to learn how to do it.
So, for me its rather simple. He not only could talk the talk, Nick could walk the walk."
"This is indeed a sad day for all of us. We have lost such a great person. I think sharing our grief would help us ease our burdens.
My brother may have meant something to each and every one of you, personally, he was my best friend. I remember when we were in school he often got into fights because of me. People used to tease me and he didn’t want to see me get hurt so he tried to protect me. He is also the only person I could confide in. I could talk to him about anything because he never judged or scolded me. He always has some great advice ready for me. He had this trait where he could always turn a dull party around.
My brother was such a character. He knew how to be serious at times and he also knew when to joke around. As a friend he was also very dear. He always found time to be with his friends. He was a very loyal and kind friend. He was also very polite; he was the kind of man who always opened doors for ladies. He could be very immature at times but that’s just because he was still a child inside a young man’s body.
I know my brother left lots of things undone and others that he never had a chance to start. But I promise I will continue what he has started and hopefully fulfill his dreams for him. This is just my small way of saying thank you for everything he did for me.
I remember one of our last talk together, we talked about death and how our funerals should be. My brother didn’t like to see people cry, especially his family. We only talked about this as a joke and now I realize why he mentioned it. He told me he wanted to have rides at his funeral or anything that would make people happy. I jokingly answered him that I could easily arrange for it but I’d have to face mom’s wrath. He just answered “that’ll no longer be my problem.” That talk happened just last month.
Let’s just be thankful for all the special moments that my brother has left us. And with that, I hope that my brother will continue to live on within our hearts and minds."
Name/age: Simeon "Nick" Nicholas McCarty, 25
Last seen: 06/05/05, Dragon Pub at 103 West Main Street, Frankfort, KY
Recovered: 06/07/05, Kentucky River
Hometown: London, KY
Date of birth: July 25, 1979