A body washed up at the port of West Memphis on Friday morning, and investigators are looking into if it is that of the 60-year-old man who fell overboard on a tug boat Wednesday night.
Crittenden County investigators say the missing boater is from Houma, Louisiana. According to a new blog from that town, the man's name is Vernon Bumgarner. Crittenden County investigators say, though, they cannot positively identify the body they found on Friday yet.
If this body belongs to the missing man from Louisiana, it means rescue crews had wrong information from the start.
On Wednesday, DeSoto County rescue crews were informed that the missing 60-year-old fell overboard at River Mile 714 near Pinckney and floated down river toward Bass Landing. That area is approximately 20 to 30 miles north of where the body was found Friday at the port of West Memphis.
"A lot of people been questioning, Well he fell off south of here but yet the body's recovered north – the river flows north to south – but nobody actually saw him go off the boat," says Chief Investigator Mike Callender with the Crittenden County Sheriff's Office.
Rescuers were also told on Wednesday that the 60-year-old was wearing a life vest. Callender says the body they found had no life vest, adding, "When the body was recovered, he had on a pair of what appeared to be blue jeans and a pair of black water boots. No life vest. He was naked from the waste up."
Crittenden County investigators have not positively identified the body yet. Callender says it could be mid-week next week before it is identified. He adds that if the person they found at the port has a river boat license then a matching fingerprint set will show up.
FOX 13 will report those results as soon as they are made available.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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