On December 19, 2017 at approximately 9:00 a.m. a motorist flagged down a Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy in the vicinity of the Loggy Bayou bridge on U.S. 71 at the Red River/Bossier Parish Line. The driver reported that she observed a pedestrian near the middle of the bridge span disappear over the guard railing and fall into Loggy Bayou. An unattended vehicle was located on the southbound shoulder of U.S. 71 on the Bossier Parish end of the bridge.
Multiple Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office units, including marine and K-9 units, were dispatched to the scene. The Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office was also contacted and responded with multiple units and marine equipment. The incident appeared to originate/occur on the Bossier Parish side of Loggy Bayou, therefore, the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office assumed the lead in the investigation.
Search efforts continued throughout the day and included the use of the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office boat/sonar and dive team, Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office human detection K-9 and the South Bossier Fire Department boat/sonar. In addition to personnel associated with the listed agencies, representatives with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Bienville Parish Fire District were also on scene. The search was suspended as nightfall approached and resumed at 7:00 a.m. on the morning of December 20, 2017. The Bienville Parish Fire/Rescue Dive Team also joined recovery efforts.
The Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office K-9 “Cephira” alerted in an area near the bridge where the individual was reported to have entered the water. The location was searched by both Bienville and Bossier Parish divers throughout the day. The murky water limited visibility and heavy log/limb debris increased search difficulty.
The victim was located by divers within the search area and recovered from the water at approximately 3:00 p.m. on day two of the search. Investigation by Bossier Parish Sheriff’s detectives is ongoing and the victim’s name is being withheld at this time.
This incident details the efforts of several neighboring agencies working together in service to the citizens of their respective communities. The personnel searched tirelessly in an effort to provide closure for family members. Additionally, the importance of situational awareness and appropriate notification of authorities by the public was highlighted by this event. Had the motorist failed to notice the individual’s actions and/or failed to call 911, authorities would have eventually located the abandoned vehicle, but would not have known to search the bayou.