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April 11, 2014

River deaths ruled a drowning

NY couple’s boat still not found

Live Oak —

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) spokesperson Karen Parker offered an update on the New York couple whose bodies were found floating in the Suwannee River last month and preliminary findings from the medical examiner’s office, she said, show the cause of death to be drowning.

The bodies of James and Grace Maynard were found floating on the Suwannee River over the weekend of March 21-23. Their bodies were discovered at two different locations along the river in Dowling Park and Mayo, and a floating cooler offered information on their identities. 

The Maynard’s truck was later located at Gibson Park boat ramp in Hamilton County where they apparently launched a small boat into the river. 

“According to the medical examiner (ME), the preliminary cause of death for both subjects is drowning,” said Parker. “We are still waiting on the complete report from the ME but that may take another 8 to 12 weeks.”

The boat, Parker said, has not yet been found.

“High water river conditions can make the vessel harder to find,” said Parker.

The boat is a 13-foot Gheenoe-type boat with a two and a half horse powered engine. According to family members of the deceased, the boat is either light brown or olive drab green.

“This vessel would have a New York registration number displayed on it,” Parker said. “If anyone has seen the boat, they can call Wildlife Alert at 888-404-3922 to report it.”

With the river being so high right now, the public is not being asked to go out searching for the boat as conditions could be dangerous.

 

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