The Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday issued an update on their investigation into an apparent boating accident three weeks ago on Toledo Bend Reservoir which claimed three lives.
Paul L. Murphy, Jr., 44, and Joseph L. Sam, Jr., 44, both of Opelousas, along with James F. Young, 40, of Lafayette, set out in an aluminum boat from a boat ramp at the end of LA Highway 1215 late during the night of Friday, July 30th. By the next morning, friends and family of the men became concerned because they never returned.
On Saturday, August 1st, the body of Murphy, who was wearing a life jacket, was found floating about 1,500 feet from where they launched, and the bodies of Sam and Young were found in the same area at the bottom of the lake by divers the following day.
However, the department says that the 14 foot aluminum boat that the three were in has never been found, and investigators say they need to find the boat to determine if it hit something, or exactly what happened.
Meanwhile, the update said that preliminary autopsy results have returned which show that all three men died as the result of fresh water drowning.
The Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office says that Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Agents are continuing to search for the boat which they believe to be on the bottom of the lake.