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Body Found in Withlachoochee River

By: Liza Park
By: Liza Park

Authorities say it was about 9:45 Sunday morning when divers found the body in the river, but the search actually began Saturday night.

Authorities say a search team began combing through the deep parts of the Withlachoochee River after they received a call about a drowning at 6:30 Saturday night.

They were looking for 35-year-old Daniel Scott of Madison County for hours, but didn't find him.

"We searched the area where he was last seen with our diver last night, but it was too dangerous, and due to the darkness we called off the search about 10 o'clock last night," said Madison County Sheriff Peter Bucher.

Sunday morning the Sheriff's Office teamed up with the Taylor County rescue divers and soon found the body.

Witnesses said Scott was last seen in an area where a rock is nestled into the embankment, but the Taylor County rescue divers found the body about 100 feet south of there in an area where the roots of a tree came close to the water. The body was still in the deep water close to the embankment.

"They went out where they dropped the buoy at, picked the body up and eased it up to the bank and put it in a body bag. Well, the body was sort of like that, you know. When they picked it up it was done stiff," said Richard Anderson, a witness at the river.

Anderson and his family were camping in the area Saturday night and Sunday morning and said this is a recreational area, but the deep end of the river was dangerous for Scott.

"They said he couldn't swim, but it looked like he was planning on playing in the water, which you know there's plenty places to play in the water that it's not over his head if he would have stayed there," Anderson said.

Scott's body was transported to the medical examiner in Tallahassee for an autopsy. Witnesses said Scott's friends tried to help Scott, but he panicked and no one could pull him out of the water.

Sheriff Bucher says there are no indications of foul play, but an autopsy will be performed Monday nonetheless. Bucher said it just appears to be an unfortunate accidental drowning.


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