HANCOCK COUNTY -- The man found dead in a small body of water in the Lakeshore community Sunday has been identified as Alex Toups, 27, of Auderer Boulevard in Waveland.
Friends of Toups said he was an active-duty infantry member in the Army who had served in Iraq and was a Hancock High graduate. A memorial with candles and flowers was set up Sunday night near where his body was found off Lakeshore Road and Third Marsh Road.
He had been "partying and drinking heavily with a friend the night before," said Chief Deputy Don Bass of the Hancock County Sheriff's Office.
Toups and a friend had been hanging out in the area Saturday night. The friend went to sleep, woke up and thought Toups had gone home, Bass said.
Teenagers were shooting guns in a marshy area and noticed the body abut 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
"He was in one of those small lakes or ponds fed by tributaries from the Mississippi Sound and tidal wave action," Bass said.
One of the teens contacted the Mississippi Department of Marine Resource's oyster check station near Bayou Caddy. A worker called a dispatcher in the DMR's main office and an officer went to the scene, DMR spokeswoman Melissa Scallan said.
The coroner and other first responders gathered at the scene and began to recover the body about 7 p.m. Sunday.
"The preliminary investigation hasn't determined any foul play at this time," Bass said.
Officials said Toups had identification on him, which was used to find and notify his family.
Hancock County Coroner Jim Faulk said the initial investigation indicates Toups had been in the water only a few hours.
Details of Toups' death won't be determined until an autopsy and forensic tests are completed, Faulk said.