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Remains of Vicksburg man missing on the river since 2018 identified

The long search for a Vicksburg man who went missing from a towboat in St. Joseph, La. in November 2018 has come to an end.

Officials with the Adams County Coroner’s Office announced Monday, they had positively identified the remains of Timothy Howell Hearn.

Adams County Coroner James Lee said partial skeletal remains were discovered along the Mississippi River in early July in an area known as Anna’s Bottom. The remains were then sent to a forensics laboratory in St. Louis, Mo., where they were matched against DNA provided by Hearn’s family. He said a cause of death could not be determined.

“This is a sad but happy day for the Hearn family,” Lee said. “When I spoke to the mother today she broke down in tears, and to be totally honest, I cried too.

“The family has been waiting nearly two years for any information regarding their loved one,” Lee said. “I’m very sorry that the incident happened and the family is in my prayers. However, I’m glad we were able to identify him.”

Hearn, a deckhand on the towboat owned by Riverside Construction of Vicksburg, was reported missing at about 3 a.m. on Nov 3. The days-long search for Hearn involved the U.S. Coast Guard, along with deputies from the Tensas Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and area firefighters. 

At the time of the incident, Hearn had been working for Riverside Construction for less than a month.

 

Scott Hawkins, editor of The Natchez Democrat, contributed to this report.