Willow Springs police

An abandoned car found Wednesday morning by Willow Springs city workers led them to discover the dead body of a retired longtime police officer, according to Willow Springs Police Chief Bryan Hogan.

Officers identified the body found at 8:59 a.m. Wednesday as David W. Hocking, 77, Willow Springs.

“I have known David for 30 years. He was a long time former Willow Springs Police Officer,” said Chief  Hogan. “He and his wife Patty are great people. He will truly be missed by friends, family and community.”

Hocking served with the police department two times over many years and had been retired about 20 years, said Hogan.

An investigation is being conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Willow Springs Police Department, said Hogan, adding that at this time, no foul play is suspected.

An autopsy is being performed by Howell County Coroner Tim Cherry.

“He was a great guy and a good friend to the Willow Springs community,” Hogan concluded.

More details will be released by authorities as they become available.

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