The death of Jordan Britten, the college student who went missing during spring break on South Padre Island, is being called “suspicious” by local authorities. Britten was found by searchers about a block off of the road in a marshy area between Schlitterbahn and Chapel by the Sea. Authorities said the location was directly across the road from Dirty Al’s.
Britten was found in water that was about waist deep, wearing only his underwear according to Adrian Rodriguez, spokesman for the City of South Padre Island, in a phone interview with Breitbart Texas. While he said the death is being considered “suspicious,” it is not being investigated as a homicide at this time. Britten’s body was discovered by a Border Patrol BORSTAR search team K9 unit. Initial reports reveal there were no signs of violence on the body.
The remains were found by the Border Patrol K9 at 10:09 a.m. on Thursday morning.
Police officials are awaiting the results of toxicology tests and an autopsy before speculating on a cause of death.
Drugs were reportedly found in Britten’s car which was impounded after he was reported missing on Monday. Britten was last seen at the Ultimate Music Fest on Friday, March 20. The concert was hosted at Schliterbahn.
The drugs found in the car appear to be Molly, a powdered form of ecstasy and Liquid X. Rodriguez said there was more than would normally be considered personal use quantity, but he was traveling with other people so they are not considering the drugs being used for sale or distribution. Rodriguez said the drugs will be tested to confirm their exact content.
In a press conference held on Thursday, South Padre Island Police Chief Randy Smith said it appears Britten became disoriented in the wetland area. He stated this is possibility for anyone whether they were intoxicated, under the influence of drugs or sober.
Smith said the marshy area is so thickly covered with brush that helicopters were unable to find the body and a K9 unit was the only way to find him. The Chief said he spoke with the K9 handler who said he had the dog on a very short leash. “The brush was so thick, the handler didn’t realize he was standing next to the body until the K9 alerted him.” He said it was very difficult walking in the marsh because the mud was so soft the searchers would sink in about a foot or so into the mud with each step.
“We don’t have any reason to call this a homicide at this time,” Smith said. He added there were no visible signs of trauma to the body.
The Chief speculated that Britten might have been trying to sneak back into the park because he believes he left his car keys inside the park. The keys have not been found at this time. He said it is possible that when Britten looked across the marsh at the lights, it might appear that the park was much closer than it actually is.
Smith indicated that the water gets deeper the further into the marsh you walk. He also indicated that the helicopter searchers said there was no sign of disturbance in the marsh further in towards the park indicating that Britten was coming from the road towards the park and not the other way around.
Rodriguez told Breitbart Texas, the investigation will continue as law enforcement officials try to piece together the timeline of Britten’s last few moments. The cause of death will not be known until the toxicology reports and autopsy are available.