Bethany police ID body of man found near Lake Overholser

A Bethany Police patrol car sits near the Lake Overholser bike trail on March 5, 2019, as police investigate the discovery of a man's body in a nearby field. (KFOR/Bill Miston)

BETHANY, Okla. – Authorities have identified the body of a man found earlier this month in a field near Lake Overholser.

Bethany police said Monday the body found on March 5 is that of 66-year-old Terry Birchett of Bethany.

Officials said Birchett’s death is not considered a homicide.

A person on horseback discovered Birchett’s body as they were riding through a field, north of Highway 66, east of Stitchcomb Wilderness Refuge and Hefner Canal.

Aerial video showed the man clad in blue jeans and a brown hooded sweatshirt or jacket, lying face down on what appeared to be a sleeping bag along the tree line.

The discovery of Birchett’s body on March 5 marked the third discovery of a body in recent weeks near Lake Overholser.

Last month, the bodies of two teens were discovered in Lake Overholser. They have since been identified as Jordan Vladimir Chaj Gonzales, 19, and Kelvin Perez-Lopez, 18.

Perez-Lopez’ body was pulled from the water on February 23; Gonzales’ body was found a week later on March 2.

A day after Birchett’s body was found, Oklahoma City police and fire department dive units went back to Lake Overholser after learning Perez-Lopez and Gonzales may have been in a car that crashed into the lake and that one of the teens was connected to a Bethany missing persons case, which was later pulled from the water.

“Last night officers found what they thought would be a crash site out here, they came out with the dive team and, as your video shows, they’ve pulled out a car related to the two victims located earlier,” said Lt. David Steiner with the Oklahoma City Police Department.

At the time of the discovery of Birchett’s body, police said they didn’t believe it was connected to the discovery of the teen’s bodies, other than by vicinity.

Officials have not released causes of deaths for the teens or Birchett.

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