Mayo — After a two day search for Lake City residents William (69) and Lynda (60) Ward, the couple were found deceased on Friday, Sept. 27, in the Suwannee River that borders their property in Lafayette County, both appearing to have drowned, according to the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office.
Lafayette County Sheriff Brian Lamb stated no foul play is suspected and that it is just a tragic accident. The investigation, Lamb said, is ongoing at this time awaiting results from the Medical Examiner’s Office.
A previous press release from LCSO stated that on Wednesday, Sept. 25, just after 5 p.m., a family member of William and Lynda Ward called LCSO to report the two missing. The caller advised that the couple were last seen the morning of the 25th before they traveled to their river home in Lafayette County. They were to return that same afternoon but did not show up. Attempts to contact the couple by friends and family members proved unsuccessful.
When LCSO arrived at the river home they were unable to locate the couple, however, their vehicle was located at the scene and the property appeared to be secure. LCSO originally treated it as a missing person’s case and multiple agencies from surrounding counties were called in to assist in the search efforts, the release stated.
“It was due to a tireless effort of the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Dixie County Sheriff’s Office, Duval County Sheriff’s Office, Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office, Judy Thigpen K9 rescue and recovery, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and Mayo Correctional Institution that the two were found so quickly,” said Lamb. “We ask that you keep this family in your thoughts and prayers.”