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Sunday Drowning Under Investigation


March 24, 2005 – Two investigators from the National Park Service are investigating the Sunday drowning of Anthony Ripley, 67, V.I. National Park chief ranger Steve Clark said Thursday.
He said Ripley had served as the bay host at Francis Bay since November 2004. He lived alone aboard his boat after moving to St. John from Providence, Rhode Island.
Clark declined to provide specifics on the investigation, including whether foul play was suspected.
Clark said the medical examiner indicated that Ripley drowned, but is awaiting results of further texts, including one for toxic substances.
Ripley's body was found between 9:15 and 9:30 p.m. by someone aboard another boat anchored in Francis Bay, Clark said, adding that a park ranger last saw Ripley alive on his boat at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
Clark said Ripley served as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force. He was a decorated fighter pilot who served in Vietnam. "He will be buried at Arlington," he said, characterizing Ripley as "very helpful, dignified and classy."
Clark said he will make a statement when the investigators wrap up their work. He did not know when that would be. "We are going to do our best to put the pieces of the puzzle together," he said.

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