Teachers Found Dead in Backyard Swimming Pool Accidentally Drowned: Police

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
July 25, 2019US News
Teachers Found Dead in Backyard Swimming Pool Accidentally Drowned: Police
Kenneth Anderson (L) and Mark Anderson in file photographs. (Bellevue High School)

Two men who were found dead at a house in Iowa were identified as teachers, as police said the cause of both deaths appeared to be accidental drowning.

Someone called the Davenport Police Department on July 22 just before 9 p.m. to report finding the two deceased males in a pool. The next day, the men were identified as 60-year-old Mark Anderson of Eldridge and 57-year-old Kenneth Anderson of Bellevue.

“The preliminary investigation indicates that both subjects died of an accidental drowning. There is no family relation between the two victims,” the police department said in a statement.

According to property records, neither man owned the house where they were found dead. The owner was John Wisor.

Wisor told the Des Moines Register that the men, who he described as “saints,” were housesitting.

“[Kenneth and Mark] were two of my great friends; two of the greatest people I have ever known,” Wisor said. “It was a tragic accident. It’s horrible that this happened, but tragedies happen sometimes. Everyone should feel bad.”

Wisor, 52, said he and Kenneth Anderson were close friends since childhood and that he had a key to his house. He met Mark Anderson through Kenneth Anderson.

Wisor said he was on vacation in the Dominican Republic when the men drowned; he returned to the United States on Tuesday.

Wisor said people circulating theories about made him upset.

“[The commenters] just try to create some fantastic story,” he said. “They have no idea the two men that were lost.”

Davenport police Maj. Jeff Bladel said that the teachers were swimming with a third man who went home before returning to find them dead. He said he was also aware of theories people were circulating.

“You know, a lot of people say different, outlandish stuff to get answers out of us… and we’d love to provide information,” Bladel said. “But there’s certain things we can’t release and can’t provide because we have to be 100 percent sure.”

Mark Anderson taught science at North Scott High School in Eldridge and retired in 2014, according to the Quad-City Times. Kenneth Anderson still taught social studies at Bellevue High School.

Bellevue Principal Jeff Recker noted that Mark Anderson also taught at the high school at one point before remembering Mark Anderson.

“We’re a pretty tight-knit group,” he said. “It’s tough. He was a great guy.”

Others also reacted to the deaths.

Kate Goodworth who owns Betty’s Wig Boutique, across the street from the house where the drownings took place, told Our Quad Cities: “Oh my gosh, it’s right across the street, oh my gosh, it’s at John’s house and then it’s like, ‘oh my I wonder if it’s him’– shocking whats happening here. It’s just tragic. I feel sad for their families and the whole situation is very sad.”

Funerals for both men were planned for July 27 at Weerts Funeral Home.

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