(BETHANY, Mo.) The Sheriff of Harrison County was found dead in a Bethany home Thursday night, authorities said.
The initial death investigation concluded it was death by suicide, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol. MSHP Troop H spokesperson Sgt. Jake Angle said a preliminary report determined it was self-inflicted.
Prosecutors said Eckerson, committed three misdemeanors in Daviess County and filed charges against him on Wednesday.
“Without going into specifics, our division of drug and crime control was requested to conduct an investigation into the Harrison County Sheriff, Josh Eckerson,” Angle said. “As a result of that investigation, charges were submitted to the special prosecutor assigned in that case for the consideration and filing of formal charges.
The Special Prosecutor charged Eckerson with three misdemeanors in Daviess County.
The following day, less than 24 hours after, Eckerson was found dead in a Bethany home from a gunshot wound.
No link, between the charges and his death, has been established by authorities.
Eckerson became Sheriff in Harrison County in 2013. He was a father to four children and lived in Bethany.
The Bethany Police Department is leading the death investigation.
Shortly after news broke about Eckerson’s death, Rock Port Police Department posted on its Facebook account asking for prayers for Harrison County.
“RIP brother we have the watch from here,” the post said.
At least 20 law enforcement officers died by suicide in 2020 so far, according to Blue H.E.L.P, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that tracks police suicides. In 2019, the nonprofit says at least 228 officers died by suicide.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).