Barren County Sheriff’s Detective Rusty Anderson died in the line of duty Sunday after suffering a heart attack minutes before leaving his home to assist other deputies with an investigation.

Anderson was 47.

“We were following up on an investigation and (Barren County Sheriff Kent Keen) had called him out, and shortly after that he died of a heart attack,” sheriff’s office spokesman Deputy Mike Houchens said. “He was leaving his house to assist some other deputies with an investigation.”

His loss leaves a huge void in the department, Houchens said.

“We’re just trying to put one foot in front of the other right now,” Houchens said. “He was an integral part of our day-to-day operations and very sought after. A very big piece of our puzzle is missing right now. In this line of work we get really close to each other and families get really close. We’re going to miss him.”

Anderson is survived by his wife and two children. A.F. Crow and Son Funeral Home in Glasgow will oversee final arrangements.

“Not only was he a top-notch law enforcement officer, but he was also a family man,” Houchens said. “He loved his family tremendously. He was always bragging to us about his kids, and his wife is one the sweetest ladies I’ve ever met.

“He had his hand in every barrel we had come down the pike. He always played a part in most every investigation. He done a good job on everything. He was a wonderful investigator. Everything he did was amazing. He was a very hard worker. He loved his job.”

Anderson started his career at the Glasgow Police Department before moving to the sheriff’s department. He was a law enforcement officer for 17 years, three months and one week. Anderson had worked at the sheriff’s department for more than a decade.

“I’ve known him for several years,” Houchens said. “He was a top-notch gentleman, full of integrity and knowledge and a wonderful person to work with, a wonderful friend and brother to all of us at the sheriff’s department.”

Anderson’s death marks the third line of duty death in the department’s recent history, Houchens said. All three deaths were caused by heart attacks.

– Follow Night Editor and Senior Reporter Deborah Highland on Twitter @BGDNCrimebeat or visit

– Follow Night Editor and Senior Reporter Deborah Highland on Twitter @BGDNCrimebeat or visit


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