UPDATE: A body was recovered in the Coosa River in Gadsden Thursday morning following a search that lasted over 20 hours.
According to Michael Rodgers with the City of Gadsden, first responders located a body matching the description of the drowning victim at 9:49 a.m. The body was found in the area near the Gadsden City Docsks and boardwalk along Albert Rains Boulevard.
Etowah County Coroner London Pearce identified the drowning victim as 44-year-old Juan Derek Kinard. The cause of death was still under investigation by the Gadsden Police Department as of Friday morning.
“We want to thank all the agencies that assisted us and offered assistance in this search,” Gadsden Fire Chief Wil Reed said in a statement.
ORIGINAL: GADSDEN, Ala. (WIAT) — First responders are currently searching the Coosa River in Gadsden after a man possibly drowned Wednesday afternoon.
The Gadsden Fire Department cannot comment right now whether this was a suicide or if foul play was involved.
Micheal Rodgers with the City of Gadsden wrote dispatchers received a call at around 1:01 p.m. of a man who did not surface from the water at the Gadsden City Docks, located along Albert Rains Boulevard across from Moragne Park. Units arrived on the scene at 1:05 p.m., and first responders immediately searched the water.
Gadsden fire says other county fire departments and state police have come out with their boats to assist in the search, an area about half an acre in size. The fire department says as the search continues, the search area could get bigger.
“Water conditions are in our favor currently,” Gadsden Fire Chief Wil Reed said. “The Coosa River is a very muddy river and there’s a lot of debris and fishing equipment on the bottom of the river so that hampers divers but currently everything is going well in the search.”
Search operations will continue until sundown. Limited search operations will take place throughout the night, with the plans to resume fully Thursday morning.
Information on the man’s identity is not available at this time. Citizens are advised to avoid the boardwalk area, but all city boat launches remain open.
The Gadsden Fire Department and other local fire departments are assisting in the search, alongside the Gadsden Police Department, Etowah County Sheriff’s Office, the State of Alabama Marine Police and Gadsden-Etowah EMA.
The city of Gadsden says it’s not common for situations like these to happen but in the last two searches of the Coosa River, it’s taken several days to find the body.