Battery Victim’s Death Under Investigation

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Joseph Donald Whybark

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of Joseph Donald Whybark, Sr., 46, of Watalula area.

Whybark was taken by ambulance to a local hospital last Friday with head trauma, according to Sheriff Anthony Boen. Whybark’s wife reported to deputies he had fallen and hurt his head that morning.

She also told deputies that the day before she came home she found her husband beaten, Sheriff Boen said. According to the wife, Whybark did not want to go to the hospital or pursue charges then.

Whybark was responsive and taken to Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith. He died the following Saturday morning before deputies were able to speak to him, Sheriff Boen said.

Deputies are now looking for the other person involved in the alleged fight with Whybark.

Whybark’s body has been sent to crime lab and final results are pending, the sheriff said.