For the third time since May, Plaquemines Parish authorities are seeking to identify a body recovered from the Mississippi River.
In the most recent case, the Sheriff’s Office recovered a man’s body from the water near Cedar Grove, just south of Belle Chasse, about 8 a.m. Monday.
The body was heavily decomposed, but an autopsy performed by the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office has determined there were no signs of trauma or indications of foul play.
Investigators believe the man was 60 to 75 years old, 6-foot-1, about 190 pounds and of undetermined race. He was wearing Faded Glory jeans, a brown belt, gray socks and distinctive size 11 Chaco sandals. The Sheriff’s Office released a picture of the sandals, saying they may be helpful in identifying the man.
On July 31, authorities recovered the body of towboat deckhand Jmarcus Watson from the river. And in May, the corpse of another man was recovered far down the river — at the 38-mile mark — near Port Sulphur.
“It’s not typical that we have so many,” said Cmdr. Eric Becnel, a Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman. He said the swollen river — which has reached unusually high levels this summer — may be shuttling the bodies into Plaquemines more quickly. Both of the previous bodies recovered in Plaquemines entered the water in New Orleans.
“The way the river is just rolling, if they get into the middle of the river where the current’s strong, it’s not uncommon for them to wind up in the Belle Chasse area,” Becnel said.
The bodies have taken a toll on deputies who must recover the often-bloated remains from the river.
“It’s always tough. Images and those things stick in your memory. But our guys are troopers,” Becnel said.
The Sheriff’s Office has submitted the latest corpse’s fingerprints to local and national databases in the hope they will return a match.
Anyone with information about the man’s identity is asked to contact Detective Brett Taylor, with the Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigations Bureau, at (504) 564-2525.