LAKE COUNTY, Fla. (WFTV) -- Channel 9 has learned a local deputy who killed himself near a community swimming pool in Lake County was at the center of a Homeland Security investigation.
Several sources told Channel 9's Kennth Craig that Warwick Dale was under investigation for child porn when he chose to take his own life.
Federal authorities had just searched Dale's home and he was placed on leave shortly before his body was found.
The 43-year-old was married to a deputy and worked as a civil process server for the sheriff's office. In his free time, Dale also served as a reserve deputy.
Neighbor Carrie Hietpas was shocked to hear of his death.
"He seemed to have a fun and carefree life and enjoyed life itself," said Hietpas.
But authorities said Dale was potentially facing serious trouble with the feds.
When the sheriff's office learned about the Homeland Security investigation, they stripped Dale of his weapons and badge and put him on administrative leave.
Less than 24 hours later, his own sheriff's office was called to a park where Dale was found dead.
"Walked down to the picnic table and probably tried to figure some sort of way he could deal with it. And I don't think it was something he could have lived with," said Hietpas.
Internal Affairs investigators said Dale had never been disciplined before. Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show before the sheriff's office, Dale was at the Astatula Police Department, where he voluntarily left.