Elderly man who drowned in Federal Way pond identified | Update

A 74-year-old man drowned in Ponce de Leon pond in Federal Way after apparently attempting to retrieve something from the water on Tuesday night, police said.

The King County Medical Examiner identified him as Gilbert Starkey, whose cause of death was asphyxia due to drowning.

The accident happened at approximately 8 p.m. at 2600 SW 323 St. According to police spokesperson Cathy Schrock, it's believed the victim "was in his backyard flying a remote control helicopter when he somehow lost his footing, fell into the pond and could (not) extricate himself."

Also according to Schrock, "the preliminary investigation indicates the death was accidental." The deceased was released to the King County Medical Examiner (ME), and it's expected the man's identity will be released by the ME's office later today.

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