Body of missing Autaugaville fisherman found

Published: Dec. 22, 2013 at 8:30 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 1, 2014 at 8:30 PM CST
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© Large pumps that drained the 17-acre lake
© Large pumps that drained the 17-acre lake
David Taylor
David Taylor

AUTAUGAVILLE, AL (WSFA) - The body of missing fisherman David Taylor has been found.

Taylor, 48, had been missing since Dec. 8, after not returning home from fishing at 17-acre pond off of Fulton Road.

Autauga County officials worked around the clock with multiple agencies to find Taylor after his overturned canoe was found in the middle of the lake.

Officials pumped millions of gallons of water out of the pond and into a nearby creek, in the process finding a jacket, boots, fishing gear and the paddle that Taylor used.

Dive teams were hindered by zero visibility under the water due to heavy vegetation and undergrowth so by draining the lake, it helped narrow the search area to a few deep holes where members of the Autaugaville Fire Department and Autauga County EMA located Taylor's remains Sunday afternoon around 12:30 PM.

The find comes exactly two weeks after Taylor, a logger, went missing.

"Where it was discovered at, it was in about five feet of water. Nature took over and it came up a little bit and that's the way we found it. The body was entangled in the weeds when we found it," said Chief Deputy Joe Sedinger with the Autauga County Sheriff's Office.

Taylor's body has been turned over to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for an autopsy to confirm his cause of death. Once his body is released, his family will make funeral arrangements.

His relatives expressed their gratitude to those involved in the prolonged search and those in the community who showed their support to the family during such a difficult time.

"It's sad to know that my brother was dead but I'm happy to know that we found his body and that we'll be able to lay him to rest. I'm so grateful for the hard work. They risked their lives getting out there in that water. They never stopped just continued trying to find him," said Taylor's sister, Chris Tyus.

Taylor's family thinks he went out to the middle of the lake in an effort to catch more fish and when his boat overturned, he tried to make it back to shore, shedding his coats and boats to make the swim easier and possibly running out of energy or getting caught in the pond's undergrowth, causing him to drown.

"I know my brother and I know he fought as hard as he could to make it back to his family," his sister told WSFA. "It's a shame."

Authorities encourage those who go fishing not to go alone and to always wear a life vest.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.