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March 24, 2014

2 found dead in Suwannee River over weekend

Jasper —

An upstate New York couple were found dead in the Suwannee River over the weekend and investigators are still searching for clues as to the cause of their deaths, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

The body of Auburn, N.Y. resident Grace C. Maynard, 73, was discovered Friday, March 21, at 9:20 a.m. floating in the river downstream from the Highway 51 bridge in Mayo. She was found wearing a life jacket, but had no identification on her. About three miles upstream, officers discovered a floating cooler with a man’s wallet inside. The wallet’s identification belonged to her husband James J. Maynard, 74, also from Auburn, N.Y. His body was found on Sunday, March 23, floating approximately 1.6 miles upstream from Dowling Park, FWC officials said.

The Maynards’ truck was found at the Gibson Park boat ramp outside of Jasper. Grace Maynard was identified after officers found the registration and checked her New York driver’s license photo. The Maynards were registered guests at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park campground in White Springs, FWC said.

According to investigators, the Maynards launched a small vessel from Gibson Park in Jasper. Somewhere along the Suwannee River between Gibson Park and Hwy. 51 in Mayo something happened, causing the Maynards to enter the water. 

FWC spokesperson Karen Parker said officials have not located the vessel and are asking the public for help. She said a boat is registered to the Maynards. It is a 13 foot Gheenoe-type boat, with New York registration and a two and a half horse powered engine. The boat is lime green and white in color. If anyone knows the whereabouts of the boat, please call the Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-3922.

Officials from the FWC, Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office and Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office helped in finding the body of James Maynard. FWC officials are continuing the investigation.

 

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