On Wednesday morning January 6th, the Cane River Waterway Commission contacted the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office reporting that they had received information from a fisherman of a possible submerged vehicle in Cane River near Pratt’s Bridge, south of Natchitoches according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Stuart Wright.
The fisherman reportedly spotted the alleged submerged vehicle while looking for fishing spots last weekend.
Deputies were contacted on January 6 for assistance.
Major Doug Rachal, NPSO Search & Rescue Members and Sheriff Stuart Wright responded to the area with a boat and sonar equipment to scan the river bed for submerged items for approximately 2 hours.
During the search, no large items fitting the description of a vehicle were discovered on sonar submerged in the river.
Deputies attempted to make contact with the fisherman but were unable to because of his work hours. A message was left for him to contact Major Rachal.
Late Wednesday evening, the fisherman contacted Major Rachal and provided him with a more accurate description of the location of where the vehicle was submerged approximately 1/4 mile north of Pratt’s bridge, or just south of Tommy’s Grocery on La. Hwy 494.
Search & Rescue Team Members along with divers from the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, Natchitoches Fire Department, Natchitoches Parish Fire District #6 and Fire District #9 returned this morning shortly after 8:30am to search the river.
Within 40 minutes, sonar equipment discovered the submerged vehicle and divers entered the water to secure the vehicle and search for any underwater clues or evidence.
Detectives assigned to the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division also responded to the scene to assist with the vehicle recovery.
A local wrecker service also responded to assist deputies in the recovery of the vehicle from Cane River.
Dive Team members secured the vehicle for removal with a cable.
As the recovery mission progressed, deputies retrieved the vehicle which appears to have been submerged in Cane River for maybe 20 years or more.
Detectives searched the vehicle for any human remains or evidence according to Captain D. Winder of the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division.
No remains were found in the vehicle but due to the deteriorated condition of the vehicle and silt buildup detectives plan to coordinate and conduct a more thorough search of the interior at the wrecker storage yard.
Detectives were unable to determine a year, make or model of the vehicle but have recovered a license plate and are currently working with NATCOM 911 Operators and Louisiana State Police Data Processing in Baton Rouge to determine who the owner of the vehicle is as we continue our investigative efforts into the mystery of how the vehicle ended up in Cane River according to Sheriff Wright.
Detectives say the investigation is ongoing involving the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, Cane River Waterway Commission and Louisiana State Police.