Officials rule deaths in Kent Co. manure pit accidental

Autopsies showed that deaths of a father and his two teenage sons found in a Kent County manure pit Thursday were accidental.

Maryland State Police said Glen W. Nolt, 48, Kelvin R. Nolt, 18, and Cleason S. Nolt, 14, all of Peach Bottom, Pa., died of suffocation during a farming accident. Their bodies were recovered from a pond of liquid manure at Centerdel Farm, a 200-acre dairy farm in the 12000 block of Vansant Corner Road in Kennedyville.

Multiple injuries contributed to Cleason Nolt's death, police said. Investigators believe the injuries were caused by a large propeller on the end of an auger that circulates the liquid manure in the pit, officials said.

Their bodies had been submerged in the pit, which was 20-foot-deep and held two million gallons of manure.

Glen Nolt's pickup truck was found running around 8 p.m. Wednesday. Members of the Nolt family had contacted police earlier in the evening when the men did not show up to milk the animals on their own farm.

The father and his sons had been working with an augur or conveyor that was connected to a tractor, which had been left running. They were last seen around 2 p.m. that day.