Harrowing 911 call reveals ‘odd’ detail as teen found dead by road after four-day party

Noah Presgrove, 19, was found bruised, bloodied in the ‘fetal position’ by the side of the road – but police say he wasn’t murdered

James Liddell,Graig Graziosi
Wednesday 10 July 2024 09:19
911 call reveals moment Oklahoma teen found dead on roadside

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Audio from two newly-released 911 calls detail the “awful” moment two bypassers spotted a teen’s corpse lying naked and bloodied by the roadside.

Noah Presgrove, 19, was found dead last September next to Highway 81 in Jefferson County, Oklahoma. The recent high school grad had been drinking and partying for four days with his friends.

Presgrove’s corpse was discovered lying in a fetal position wearing nothing but a pair of mismatched slip-on shoes.

His teeth were scattered around him, skull fractured and ribs broken – but the police are not treating the case as a murder. Oklahoma Highway Patrol described Presgrove’s death as “suspicious.”

Ten months into the law enforcement’s case, police have released harrowing audio from 911 calls, following a public records request made by People. Two distressed witnesses contacted dispatchers at approximately 6am on September 4.

A man, who identified himself on the call only as Tyler, said he wasn’t sure what he saw “laying on the shoulder of the road.” As the rural highway was cloaked in darkness, he first believed that the mass in the road could have been a deer before finally concluding that it “looked like a body.”

Two 911 calls reveal the moment that Noah Presgrove’s corpse was discovered
Two 911 calls reveal the moment that Noah Presgrove’s corpse was discovered (Family handout)

“It just – it looked awful odd,” Tyler said in the Labor Day call.

The man, identifying himself as Tyler Hardy, called 911 shortly after the first witness. The second Tyler also mistook the body as a deer on his morning commute to work.

“I’m pretty sure somebody is laying dead along the road,” he told the dispatcher, adding: “They look naked. I’m staying back.”

Hardy continued to position his vehicle to block the road with the body lying close to the white lines near the hard shoulder.

“It actually looks like there’s a piece of clothing maybe laying in the middle of the road,” he said. The man added that he was fearful of getting too close.

A third call took place seconds before Hardy’s lasting just 20 seconds and was full of static, authorities said, although they believe that it might have also been from Hardy.

On the day of Presgrove’s death, he had been attending a 22nd birthday party that had lasted for four days.

Noah Presgrove, 19, vanished from a birthday party over the 2023 Labor Day weekend
Noah Presgrove, 19, vanished from a birthday party over the 2023 Labor Day weekend (Family handout)

His friend said that Presgrove wanted to go for a walk, but could not find one of his shoes, so he took another. What happened next remains shrouded in mystery.

The teen’s family say they have not been allowed to see a copy of the medical examiner’s report outlining his cause of death.

Dailen Presgrove, Presgrove’s brother, believes foul play was involved.

“He was in the fetal position. And his body was covered up. You can see blood seeping through the covering… As I’m looking at it, it just seems weird,” he told NewsNation.

Aunt Robyn Smith told the outlet that they didn’t think that a vehicle inflicted the injuries.

On Tuesday, April 30, the county’s medical examiner revealed the young man’s cause of death: multiple blunt force injuries.

In May, the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety confirmed that the young man’s death is not being investigated as a murder.

While that report answered how he died, the manner of death – what caused those blunt force injuries – remains a mystery. The medical examiner checked the “unknown” box on the finalized report.

A spokesperson for the OHP would only tell The Independent that “the investigation is still ongoing,” while the OSBI deferred to the OHP.

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