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AUTHORITIES FIND HUNTER'S BODY

Opelousas Daily World, LA

Posted on January 4, 2004

Evangeline Parish Sheriff's deputies recovered the body of a 22-year-old hunter Friday, found about 100 yards from the area where he fell from a boat on Dec. 31.

Tony Jordan of Eunice was found in Bayou Nezpique at 2:10 p.m. Friday, said Lt. Dwayne Fontenot. "The person he was with reported that they fell in about 5:20 that morning. They were going hunting in a small aluminum boat and the current pushed them under a tree, and when they bent over to go under the tree they both lost their balance and fell in.

"He had a lot of clothes on and it was a strong current. I would guess where he was had about 15 to 20 feet of water and the water was probably in the lower 30s," Fontenot said.

Jordan did not hit his head, nor was he caught on anything, though where he fell was full of stumps and logs, the detective said.

"He wasn't wearing a life jacket," Fontenot said. "They were sitting on them."

Jordan's companion in the hunt, Bert Guillory, said the pair were heading down the bayou when their 10-foot flat-bottom boat became entangled in a tree.

"It just tipped over. We got separated," Guillory said.

"I tried to swim toward him," said Guillory, pointing out the two men were heavily encumbered in hunting gear and knee boots. "We were calling back and forth, but I couldn't reach him."

Guillory, who was closest to the boat, made his way back to the boat and righted it. The oars had been lost in the accident, but Guillory tried to reach his friend by hand paddling.

After about 10 or 15 minutes, he said he headed the boat into shore and began seeking help.

He was later picked up walking along La. 104 and contacted authorities.

Fontenot said the family was upset with the way the parish was handling the investigation. They wanted to hire divers, but that wouldn't have helped, the detective said. "The main thing was safety. It would have been very dangerous to go in where they fell," he said.

Jordan was eventually located by dragging the bayou, Fontenot said. "Toward the end, the dogs pretty much pinpointed him and were able to get him."

The Allen Parish Sheriff's Office and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries assisted.

Jordan and Guillory both work at Fruge's Lumber in Eunice and Jordan is also a student at Louisiana State University at Eunice.

Staff writer Jacqueline Cochran contributed to this story.

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