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updated: 2/22/2014 6:35 PM

Man found dead in river was in meth documentary

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Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. -- A 24-year-old man whose body was found in the Missouri River behind Black Eagle Dam was featured in the 2006 HBO documentary "Montana Meth."

Toward the end of the film, the then 16-year-old Graham Macker is asked by his mother, "How does it end?"

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Macker says, "I don't know."

On Wednesday his body was found as PPL Montana workers broke up ice near the dam. Cascade County officials said he drowned.

"Our condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to his family," Amy Rue, executive director of the Montana Meth Project, told the Billings Gazette on Friday. "Meth use continues to be a serious issue in our communities. It is a highly addictive substance that destroys lives."

On Nov. 14, Macker was reported as a walk-away from the pre-release center. It was suspected that he hid in vegetation along the south side of the Missouri River. Sheriff's deputies, Great Falls police dogs and a Homeland Security helicopter were unable to find Macker. There was no indication he went into the river that evening, authorities said.

Macker had been sent to the pre-release center for probation violations relating to 2009 forgery and bad-check charges in Kalispell.

"He was a son, a brother and a wonderful friend to so many people," Rue said. "There is so much more to Graham than just this one experience."

In the documentary, Macker told filmmaker Eames Yates that he used to be an athletic kid.

"I'd run the mile, and now I run a block and I'm tired as hell," he said. "I have stretch marks on my back. I lost, like, 30 pounds."

He also lamented the money he spent on drugs.

"I could have so much stuff right now," he said. "Just the amounts of money I spend on drugs and people I owe."

Rue said she was grateful Macker took part in the documentary and spoke about his troubles.

"Countless teens have learned as a result of learning his life story," she said.

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