Snyder’s fully-clothed body was found floating face-down at the edge of a sand bar in Mississippi Sound at 11:45 a.m. on Sunday, February 27, 2011. The location was about 30 yards from the shore of Miramar Park. People walking on the beach at first thought they were seeing a dolphin; and it wasn’t until they got closer that they saw shoes and realized it was a person.
Biloxi police said there were no obvious signs of foul play.
An autopsy, performed by Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, showed that Snyder had drowned and had likely been dead for about six days.
Donald Snyder said, "The coroner told me today that they don't believe there was any foul play and that it was probably an accidental drowning," Snyder's father said Monday night. "The police are asking some of the businesses in the area if they have cameras that might have recorded what happened ... because they don't know what happened."
Hargrove said Barrett Andrew Snyder last spoke with a friend in the early morning hours of Feb. 21 and forensic tests indicate Snyder died soon after that.
Police found Snyder’s black 2009 Subaru Legacy about 2-1/2 miles away. The car was parked in the parking lot of Venues, a nightclub on Caillavet Street, in an area where there are piers.
How Snyder reached the area where he was later found remains unclear.
"I know I'm sounding like a grandmother, but Barry, he was a very caring kind of person, and a super guy," grandmother Janet Snyder of Hollidaysburg said. "We are just all in shock, and I can't imagine what happened to him."
Police say the investigation is ongoing.
About Barrett Snyder
Barrett Snyder, a native of Altoona, Pennsylvania, is the son of Altoona optometrist Donald G. and Sandy Snyder and a 2004 graduate of Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School. Snyder played soccer in high school and later went on to play for Grove City College and then became a girls' soccer coach for Mount Aloysius College.
Snyder was living in Altoona until October when he moved to Montgomery, Alabama, and enrolled in U.S. Air Force Officer Training School.
"He delayed going to the training in Alabama so he could finish the soccer season at Mount Aloysius," Donald Snyder said. "He just loved coaching that team."
He graduated from U.S. Air Force Officer Training School on Feb. 18 during a ceremony his parents attended at the Maxwell Air Force Base.
Snyder said the Air Force is assisting with funeral arrangements, which are pending.
"This has been quite a shock for the whole family," Snyder said. "We've just been trying to make sense of it all."
If you have any information about Barrett Snyder, call the Biloxi Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division at (228) 435-6112 or Police Dispatch at (228) 392-0641.