The body of 25-year-old Phil Masterson, the younger brother of MMA veteran Matt Masterson, was found Tuesday afternoon in Put-In-Bay on South Bass Island in Ohio. Masterson was a 2004 graduate of St. Ignatius High School, a Catholic college preparatory school located in Cleveland.
South Bass Island is a small island is located on western Lake Erie in Ottawa County and is a popular recreation and tourist spot. Masterson’s body was found by his brother severely beaten and covered with a grill tarp in a wooded area near the cabin where they were staying at the Island Club, a development made up of about 70 rental homes.
Officials from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrived on South Bass Island at approximately 6 a.m. Wednesday morning and Masterson’s body was removed from the island via ferry at approximately 8 a.m.
In late-breaking news, Channel 3 in Cleveland confirmed this afternoon that detectives from the Ottawa County Sheriff’s department have arrested 27-year-old Zachary Brody, of Bowling Green, Ohio, and charged him with voluntary manslaughter and felonious assault in Masterson’s death.
An official cause of death will not be known until after the autopsy but the police are treating the case as a homicide.
Although his older brother Matt has been fighting professionally since 2005, Phil began his amateur MMA career just this year, he fought at light heavyweight and was 2-0 in amateur mixed martial arts competition.
On July 9, Phil made his amateur MMA debut defeating Jeremy McGuire via first round rear-naked choke submission at Dan Bobish’s “Ultimate Cage Battles: Bombs Away”. Incidentally, his brother Matt headlined the card, winning a unanimous decision.
Then on August 13, Phil fought what would turn out to be his last official MMA fight, defeating Nate Jones via split decision at “NAAFS: Midwest Combat Challenge 14” in Akron.
Stay close to ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) for updates on this developing story.
Updated WKYC news report on Phil Masterson after arrest was made:
Original WKYC news report on Phil Masterson:
UPDATE (6:50 p.m. CT): Added the WKYC updated news report after an arrest was made in the murder.