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Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

Man found dead in Bonnaroo tent

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

(Photo)
When this sea of tents started to disappear at Bonnaroo, a young man's body was found in one Tuesday.
(T-G Photo by Mary Reeves) [Order this photo]
Bonnaroo was officially over in the early hours Monday, but the aftermath lingers. A man's body was found in a one-man tent in one of the campgrounds Tuesday afternoon, according to Coffee County Sheriff Steve Graves.

"All we know is that he was alive yesterday (Monday) at 3 p.m.," said Graves.

While most of the camping festival-goers were already gone, there were dozens of Bonnaroo workers who also camped out, who stayed behind to help with the clean-up.

"We don't know if he was a worker or someone who just lingered," said Graves. "He looked to be in his 20s, maybe late 20s. It's hard to tell."

The sheriff said there appeared to be no sign of trauma to the body and the cause of death would probably be due to drugs or a medical problem.

"We're waiting for the call from Dr. Levy's office," he said. "We should have the preliminary results Wednesday afternoon."

He was still waiting Tuesday afternoon for confirmation of the man's identity and to notify his next of kin.

Overall, Graves said, it was business as usual at Bonnaroo.

"Arrests were down about a third, but summonses were up 60 percent," he said. "We found a lot of drugs, but it was smaller amounts. We did make several large drug amount arrests and seizures."

Bonnaroo traffic had its usual impact on the county, state and city officers trying to regulate it.

"It was better on one end of the county, but we had a backup on Highway 41 that went all the way to the county line," Graves said. "There were issues we'll have to look at before next year -- I think we can do better. But the interstate stayed clear and that's our main concern."

The death of the man this week makes the seventh Bonnaroo-related death in the eight years, including a Bonnaroo worker who was thrown from a truck and a camper who got over the compound fence and was struck by Ricky Skaggs' tour bus on the interstate.

Other deaths there have also been attributed to drug abuse and/or medical problems. Two people died from drug overdoses at Bonnaroo in 2004, and one man was found dead in his tent in 2005. Witnesses said he suffered from sleep apnea, but authorities said there were indications of unspecified drugs in his system. There were no deaths reported in 2008.