DESTIN, Fla. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Shreveport City Marshal’s Office has confirmed the body of Marshal Charlie Caldwell, Jr. was found Saturday morning by a kayaker in the Gulf of Mexico.

Shreveport City Marshal Charlie Caldwell

“The family and Marshal’s Office thanks the U.S. Coast Guard, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Destin Fire Department, and all the volunteers who searched for him,” the Marshal’s Office said in a statement late Saturday morning.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Caldwell was trying to retrieve his hat Thursday evening when he lost his footing and fell over the side of a 23-foot center console boat he was operating northeast of Crab Island in Destin. Caldwell went under the water and did not resurface. According to a statement released by the U.S. Coast Guard, he was not wearing a lifejacket.

“We continue to ask everyone to keep Marshal Charlie Caldwell, Jr.’s family, the Marshal’s Office, and all his friends in your thoughts and prayers. We also ask for you to respect his family’s privacy during this trying time,” the statement said.

“Hammond City Court Marshal and President of the Louisiana City Marshal and City Constable Association Pat Farris has joined the Louisiana Law Enforcement Community in expressing their deep sorrow for the loss of Shreveport City Court Marshal Charlie Caldwell, Jr.,” read a statement Saturday afternoon from the Louisiana City Marshal and City Constable Association.

“Marshal Caldwell was a special member of our organization and a personal friend of mine,” said Marshal Farris. “Our entire association expends our prayers and support to Marshal Caldwell’s family and the Shreveport Marshal’s Office. He will be surely missed.”

Marshal Charlie Caldwell took office in 2008. He held a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Bethel University as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Wiley College. He graduated from Harvard Kennedy School, where he studied in senior executives in state and local government programs. He has been employed in law enforcement for over 25 years: five of those years with the Caddo Sheriff’s Office and then becoming a deputy with the Shreveport City Marshal Office, advancing to the elected position of City Marshal.

Marshal Caldwell, Jr. is the father of four children. He was a member of the 100 Men of Shreveport and the Highland Outreach Ministries. He was an active member of the Louisiana City Marshals and City Constables Association and the National Constables and Marshals Association. Marshal Caldwell, Jr. held the positions of President and Vice-President of the Louisiana City Marshals and City Constables Association and the National Constables and Marshals Association.

The Shreveport City Marshal’s Office says they will release any additional updates and funeral arrangements once available.