Man found in creek identified


Investigators with the Erath County Sheriff's Office have released the name of a man who was found dead in a creek Sunday about a mile from where he was living.

Joseph Cunningham, 56, died of an apparent gunshot wound to the head, according to Chief Deputy Jason Upshaw. He was a horse trainer.

The search for Cunningham began about noon on Sunday when the sheriff's office received a call about a welfare concern.

"This man was renting a space from a couple," said Sheriff Tommy Bryant. "After they got home from church they went to their barn and found a firearm and blood."

When the couple could not locate Cunningham, they called the sheriff's office who launched a search with the assistance of DPS troopers, a DPS helicopter, tracking dogs and volunteers on ATVs.

The search followed a trail of blood that eventually led to the creek where Cunningham's body was discovered shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday.

Investigators are baffled how Cunningham could have walked for more than a mile with a gunshot wound to his head, but said no foul play is suspected,

"There are no indicators whatsoever that foul play was involved," Upshaw said.

Cunningham reportedly attempted suicide about four months ago.

His body has been taken to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.