Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies recovered the body of a Natchitoches man reported missing on Nov. 3, according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones Jr.
NPSO Patrol Division deputies responded to a reported missing person call on Nov. 3 at 2:08 pm in the 900 block of Fish Hatchery Road, near Natchitoches.
Deputies spoke with the grandparents of 31-year-old Randall James Evans that reported they last saw their grandson who suffered from mental illness on Nov. 1.
The grandparents suspected Evans had left the residence walking after finding a carport door unlocked and this wasn’t the first time he had walked away. Deputies responded to the residence on other occasions to assist in finding Evans.
Deputies collected information for a missing persons report, entered Evans into the National Crime Information Center as a missing person, issued a local BOLO (Be on the Lookout) message to all officers and local law enforcement agencies according to Chief Investigator Greg Dunn.
Deputies also had assistance from media sources broadcasting Evans disappearance.
Throughout the weekend, deputies searched and were unable to locate Evans.
On Monday November 5, Sheriff’s Deputies along with members of the NPSO Search & Rescue Team began searching for Evans by ground and water along Fish Hatchery Road and on Cane River Lake based on the family reporting he loved the water.
While deputies were on Cane River Lake on Monday afternoon the search had to be postponed because of an EF-1 tornado in the immediate area.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, search team members and sheriff’s detectives resumed search efforts by ground and water for Mr. Evans.
NPSO Search Team members found a body in Cane River Lake on Nov. 7 at 3:16 pm near the shore approximately ½ mile north of Pratt’s Bridge south of Natchitoches according to NPSO Search & Rescue Commander Chief Doug Rachal which matched the description of Evans.
Asst. Natchitoches Parish Coroner Steven Clanton and members of the Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office responded to the scene.
The body was recovered and transported to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center where family members positively identified the body as Randall James Evans.
According to Asst. Coroner Clanton, there were no signs of trauma to the body, the preliminary autopsy findings is the cause of death is drowning, however, the body has been transported to a Shreveport pathologist for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
At this time, foul play is not suspected.
Family members have been notified.
Sheriff Jones extends his sympathy to the family and friends of Mr. Evans.
We also appreciate the media, Cane River Waterway Commission and all who took part in the search efforts for Mr. Evans.