Texas College Graduate Mason Hart found dead floating naked in Bahamas after going on a yacht

Mystery death: Mason Hart, 23, a recent graduate of Texas Tech (left), was discovered dead in the Bahamas July 29 after relocating there to work on a friend's fishing boat (right)

Popular Articles

A 23-year-old recent college graduate from Texas was discovered dead floating in the water in the Bahamas last week, and his family and friends suspect he may have been the victim of foul pay.

Mason Hart, of Katy, Texas, moved to the Bahamas earlier this summer to work on a family friend’s yacht after graduating from Texas Tech in May with a degree in supply chain and logistics management.

On July 29, Hart's stripped body was discovered floating in the water in Scotland Cay, about 9 miles from his Marsh Harbor home. 

Expat: Hart (right) arrived in Marsh Harbor, Bahamas, this summer to join Daniel Tucker on his sprt fishing yacht, the Tucker Tales 

Expat: Hart (right) arrived in Marsh Harbor, Bahamas, this summer to join Daniel Tucker on his sprt fishing yacht, the Tucker Tales 

Big plans: Hart (left) and Tucker (center) were planning to sail to the Dominican Republic and Cuba in the coming months 

Big plans: Hart (left) and Tucker (center) were planning to sail to the Dominican Republic and Cuba in the coming months 

'Right now the case is labeled suspicious death, but my personal opinion is that it will be changing to a homicide shortly,’ Hart's employer, Daniel Tucker, told the station KHOU.

Tucker says the 23-year-old, whom he had hired to work on his sport fishing boat, the Tucker Tales, took a dingy last Wednesday to go bar-hopping, but something must have gone terribly awry.

'He may have given somebody a ride back to Marsh Harbor and that person may have been a predator,' the yacht owner speculated.

 

When Hart turned up dead in the water Wednesday, his wallet and clothes were missing, along with Tucker’s inflatable boat.

An autopsy on Hart’s body will be performed later today to determine the cause and manner of death, but his family are calling for an independent examination and toxicology test to see if he had been drugged.

Missing evidence: Hart was last seen Tuesday going out in this inflatable dingy on his way to a restaurant for lunch and cocktails. The boat has not been found

Missing evidence: Hart was last seen Tuesday going out in this inflatable dingy on his way to a restaurant for lunch and cocktails. The boat has not been found

Tragic end: The 23-year-old, pictured with his parents, was discovered floating naked in ankle-deep water 

Tragic end: The 23-year-old, pictured with his parents, was discovered floating naked in ankle-deep water 

Resting place: Hart's body turned up in the Scotland Cay area, about 9 miles from Marsh Harbor 

Resting place: Hart's body turned up in the Scotland Cay area, about 9 miles from Marsh Harbor 

This locator map shows the two establishments in Marsh Harbor and Guana Cay Hart had visited on the eve of his death

This locator map shows the two establishments in Marsh Harbor and Guana Cay Hart had visited on the eve of his death

Hart's parents and sister, along with Tucker, have been trying to get the US Embassy in the Bahamas to assist in the investigation, but it was closed since last week due to the Bahamian Emancipation Day holiday.

Hart's parents are unable to travel to the Bahamas because they do not have passports. They have launched a GoFundMe campaign to cover the costs of bringing his body home or burial.

The fundraiser's $4,500 goal was met, and then surpassed, in a matter of three days.

A $5,000 reward is also being offered for information leading to the recovery of the missing dingy that Hart was last seen on.

According to the fundraiser’s description, on the eve of his death, Mason had taken Tucker’s small boat across the harbor to have lunch and cocktails at Snappa's Restaurant in Marsh Harbour at around 3pm.

He then headed to Nipper's Restaurant on Guana Cay, where a credit card receipt showed that the last transaction took place at 7.30pm.

After reviewing surveillance video from the area, Bahamian investigators told Mason's family Monday they believe he did not leave those establishments alone, reported Click2Houston.

The following day, the young Texan was discovered floating face up in ankle-deep water 9 miles away without any clothes on.

Those who knew Mason say the facts of the case just don't add up.

Hart is pictured with his sister, NicoleNicole Hart took this photo of her sibling on the day of his graduation

Hart's sister, Nicole (left), was planning to join her brother in the Bahamas in December. She last heard from him Tuesday, one day before his death

‘The idea that he was found naked? His whole life he swam with a shirt on, so it’s really strange that he was found with no clothes on,' Hart's cousin Laura Forbush told LubbockOnline.com. 

Mason's sister, 22-year-old Nicole Hart, said her brother relocated to the Bahamas to work for Daniel Tucker, a close family friend described as a second father to him.

He was looking forward to sailing the world for at least six months. Hart and Tucker's next destination was the Dominican Republic, followed by Cuba.

Nicole said her brother was working on his SCUBA diving license and wanted her to join him in December on his grand sailing adventure after her graduation from Texas Tech.

The last text message she received from her brother came at 2pm Tuesday. He was never heard from again. 

Larry White
By Larry White 04/08/2015 13:17:00