October 5, 1997

10/10/97: Anthony Skifton, 19, La Crosse, WI

Anthony Skifton, 19, of 820 Caledonia St., was last seen by friends about bar time as he left a party. His body was found five days later in Isle La Plume Slough, which runs along the east side of Houska Park south of the Cass Street Bridge. An autopsy performed by Dr. Lindsay Thomas of the Minnesota Regional Coroner's Office (MRCO), reported that no foul play was involved but "acute alcohol intoxication'' was a contributing factor in the death. The death was ruled accidental because a medical examiner's report said Skifton probably fell off the dock.

About 3 a.m., a truck driver for Strohs Brewery saw a man matching Skifton's description walking near the brewery toward Houska Park, investigators were told. The young man caught his attention because he was carrying a case of beer. On Oct. 20, 1997, Skifton's body was found in Swift Creek, south of Houska Park. The zipper on his shorts was down and an autopsy revealed that his bladder was empty. Police said he probably fell in off the dock after relieving himself. The death was ruled accidental. However, his family reports that Skifton could not swim and was scared to death of water.

Oddly, on the same night, several hours after Skifton was last seen by friends, a man named Adam Smith reported giving a car ride to two suspicious men in their 20s, one bleeding from a head wound. Smith told police that the men offered him $5 to take them home from Houska Park along the Mississippi to a downtown address. Smith then drove back to the park and was this time approached by a man with a black goatee who propositioned him. It is unclear if Smith or any of the witnesses reported seeing Skifton in Houska Park that night, but his body was found south of the park.

Facts of Interest in this Case
Name/age: Anthony Skifton, 19
College: University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
Physical description: no information found
Last seen: 10/10/97, 2:30 am, leaving a party in La Crosse, WI
Recovered: 10/20/97, has been reported as Isle La Plume Slough (offshoot of the Mississippi River)
Cause of death ruling: drowning
Manner of death ruling: accident
Injuries: none
Blood Alcohol Content: 0.23
Reported water temp: 65 degrees

**Anthony could not swim and was scared to death of water.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is something really shady about the reported dates with this case.

For example, The Milwaukee Jornal Sentinal reported on October 12, 1997, that Skifton went missing
on 10/5/1997 and that he was recovered 10/10 (5 days).
Then October 22, 1997, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal reported that
Skifton was recovered on 10/11/1997 and had been missing for about a week (6-7 days).
2 years later, August 30, 1999, the SAME SOURCE reports Skifton was recovered 10/20/1997 and that he had
been missing since 10/7 (13 days).

Other sources then fluctuate dramatically. 10/5 seems to appear most frequently
as his date of disapearance on web sources. Then there are reports that he went missing 10/10
and other reports claim he was found 10/10.