Officials Confirm Death of Award Winning Springfield Attorney Missing Since Friday

The Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association confirmed Wednesday the death of an area lawyer who was reported missing over the weekend.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol released an Endangered Person Advisory on Saturday for 39-year-old John Hacker.

Officials say that Hacker’s body was found in Lake Pomme de Terre on Tuesday evening and that foul play is not suspected in his death.

The Endangered Person Advisory released by the Missouri State Highway Patrol said that Hacker had been suffering from a brain injury that brought on mental illness and depression. The Patrol said he was “heavily medicated” as a result of the illness and possibly hallucinating, and did not take his medication with him when he left the residence where he had been staying.

A statement from the Bar Association said that Hacker suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, connected to multiple concussions during his football career.

A Bolivar native, John Hacker was a three-sport star in football, basketball, and baseball, earning college scholarships in all three sports. He was a graduate of Missouri State University and Creighton University Law School, and returned to Springfield in 2005 to practice law.

Hacker was honored in 2014 with the Equal Access to Justice Award for his dedicated work with clients in the Springfield area who could not afford legal representation.

“In addition to his professional accomplishments, John was a loving husband and father, and a great friend,” Springfield attorney Jason Smith, a lifelong friend of Hacker, said in a statement. “I have never met another person with so many family members and friends that cared so much about him. We will miss him terribly.”

Hacker is survived by his wife Kiley, and children Jack and Annie.

(Photo from Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association)

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