Unidentified Man’s Body Found In Mississippi River

Posted on: 5:01 pm, January 18, 2013, by , updated on: 06:28pm, January 18, 2013

(Crittenden, Co., AR) A disturbing discovery in the Mississippi River this morning: a body found floating in Crittenden County.

Now investigators are trying to figure out who it is and some wonder if it’s that of a towboat captain who has been missing since Wednesday night.

The body was found in the Mississippi River at the Port of West Memphis Friday morning.

Workers at Kinder Morgan Terminal spotted the body under a pier and called the Sheriff’s Deputies.

Mike Callender, Chief Investigator with the Crittenden County, Arkansas Sheriff’s Department, said there was no identification on the body, “It appears to be a white male, dressed in what looks like maybe blue jeans. No top on at the time.”

Chief Callender said without an ID, there’s no way to know if the body is a missing towboat captain who fell off the towboat “Augusta” sometime Wednesday afternoon or early evening, “This may be the guy that fell off the riverboat. We have no reason to believe that other than he’s missing and the location and everything.”

He said crew members first reported the man over board south of Memphis, “It’s my understanding from talking to folks in DeSoto County that they don’t really know exactly where he fell off the boat.”

DeSoto County Search and Rescue, along with Coast Guard,  started searching the river believing the man was wearing a life jacket.

But the search stopped Thursday morning when it they learned the man really didn’t a life jacket on.

Bobby Story, DeSoto County EMA Director, said the decision to stop the river search was the best way to keep volunteers safe, “If he didn’t have a personal flotation device on then there’s no way we’d be able to find him with the current and the debris coming down the river.”

Chief Mike Callender said Friday’s discovery doesn’t close the book on the missing man’s case just yet, “Because of the circumstances it’s a likely fit, but we don’t know anything at this point in time.”

The body is being sent to the Arkansas crime lab in Little Rock for an autopsy.