Missing-persons call leads to meth lab, death

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Troopers found Henry native dead at home on Mulberry Pike

By Lisa King

A man who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound when police discovered an active meth lab on Mulberry Pike Monday was from Henry County, officials say.


Henry County Coroner James Pollard said that Christopher Booth, 33, was raised in Henry County but had been living in Shelby.

Kentucky State Police troopers were trying to get someone to answer the door at a mobile home on Mulberry Pike while checking out a missing-person complaint Monday afternoon, when they heard a gun shot ring out inside the residence, a report said.

That's when one man came out of the house, and police entered to find Booth dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Kentucky State Police spokesperson Kendra Wilson said.

The other man, whose identity has not been released by officials, was taken to Jewish Hospital Shelbyville to be checked out, she said, after troopers discovered the meth lab.

Wilson said when a call came in about a possible missing person, troopers went to 2632 Mullberry Pike to check it out, which is when they discovered the meth lab and encountered the apparent suicide.

Booth was not removed, and the meth lab was not dismantled, for several hours, because Shelby County coroners and hazmat team were working a two-fatality accident that had just occurred on Interstate 64. A team had to be called in from Frankfort to assisted KSP.

Pollard said the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head from a rifle.

Shelby County Sheriff’s Det. Jason Rice, who did not work the incident because he was investigating the traffic fatalities, said that methamphetamine manufacturing in Shelby County, although not as predominant as in other areas, is still a problem.

“Meth has not gone away, and we in Shelby County are fortunate to experience less of it than in rural counties,” he said. “But we do have it, and it does have a presence here. We see it from time to time.”

Shelby, which recorded 27 meth arrests last year, has one of the lowest incidences in meth labs in Kentucky, according to KSP statistics, but even one meth lab is one too many, officials said.

Meth labs are very dangerous because chemicals and substances used to manufacture methamphetamine are volatile and highly flammable, officials said.

The lab discovered Monday was in the Bagdad Fire District, but Fire Chief Rusty Newton said his crews were not called in to participate in the situation because KSP brought its own teams.

“There are many dangers associated with meth labs,” he said. “The fire hazard is a big concern to us because of the high fire potential; also there health issues, too.”

Wilson said the investigation is continuing, but she has not responded to repeated phone calls from The Sentinel-News for more information on the incident.