A Clark County man apparently traveled north to Scottsburg to commit suicide on Tuesday, December 7, in a local motel’s swimming pool.
Jeffrey “Jeff” Howard Vaughn, 49, Clarksville, was pronounced dead at the scene around 11 p.m. that Tuesday by Scott County Coroner Kevin Collins.
A motel employee told Scottsburg Police Department Sgt. Steven Herald that she had heard what she described as a “loud boom” in the area of the pool between 10:30 and 10:35 p.m.
As she looked toward the pool, the woman said she could see a man standing in it. When she asked the man what the noise could have been, she said she realized he was holding a gun. The man held his hands up in the air but then placed the gun to his head. The employee said she yelled, “No! Don’t do it!” and ran to the main desk where she called police.
Sgt. Herald, Sgt. Brian Hall and Deputy Rex Herald found the man’s body face down in the water. He was unresponsive. Three handguns was laying next to the pool and were immediately secured by the officers. Coroner Collins was summoned to the scene as were Scott County EMS and members of the Scottsburg Volunteer Fire Department.
Officers recovered another handgun and two slugs at the bottom of the pool, a bullet on the floor by the pool and several slugs and BBs embedded in the north wall of the pool room.
As he worked at the scene, Sgt. Hall recalled hearing an earlier dispatch by the Indiana State Police, Sellersburg post, about a report of a man who had contacted a relative about committing suicide. The subject was driving a black Volvo. Vaughn’s car was found parked in the motel’s lot. It matched the dispatch’s description.
Troopers Paul Bailey, Matt Marshall and Shannon Burton reported to the scene. Trp. Bailey had taken the missing person information from the man’s distraught sister around 6:30 p.m. that evening. Trp. Bailey was able to provide a copy of Vaughn’s e-mail. It was a very detailed explanation of how he planned to commit suicide, according to the officer’s report.
The man’s suitcase contained boxes for the weapons he had brought as well as ammunition. A backpack was also found.
Vaughn was survived by a brother, a sister, several nieces and nephews and a companion.
A memorial gathering was conducted by Vaughn’s family on Sunday, December 19, at Grayson Funeral Home in Charlestown.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of donations to the Kentucky Humane Society, 241 Steedly Drive, Louisville, KY 40214.