Former bodybuilder William Pettis drowned in Swatara Township creek

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A bodybuilder who made his mark in the 1970s with fellow bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger drowned in a Swatara Township creek.

(Los Angeles Magazine)
(Los Angeles Magazine)

Dauphin County Coroner Graham Hetrick’s office said the death of William Pettis was ruled as accidental from fresh water drowning. The findings were released after an autopsy on Thursday.

Pettis’s body was found in Spring Creek, near the Greenbelt parking area, by someone walking the trail Tuesday morning.

The 69-year-old was born in Oberlin and boasted larger biceps than Schwarzenegger during their heyday at Venice Beach, California. His image was used in posters for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, but he was paid just $1 for it.

(Los Angeles Magazine)
(Los Angeles Magazine)

About 10 years ago, he fell on hard times and became homeless.

Pettis, who suffered from dementia, had traveled from Venice Beach by bus for a family function.

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