MOBILE COUNTY, Ala (WALA) - On Sunday, Mobile County Sheriff’s Deputies recovered the pickup truck and body of 77 year-old Clarence Rutherford.
Deputies began searching for Rutherford early Saturday morning and throughout the day found no sign of him except for a few belongings. On Sunday, they found his truck, and deputies said his body was still inside.
Early Saturday morning, David Rutherford called the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office to report his father missing. He told deputies he last saw his father around 7:30 Friday night at their trailer at Memories Fish Camp.
"We seen him Friday. He was in good spirits. He talked to everybody. A lot of people talked with him. All his old friends come down and seen him Friday evening. He told us we'd see him the next morning,” said owner Charlotte Puckett.
But that was not the case. Saturday morning, David noticed items typically in the bed of his dad’s truck, floating in the water.
"That's why the suspect him being in the river is because some of the items that were found were normally inside the back of the truck, they were found floating on the other side of the river,” said Sgt. Robbie Riddick.
For hours, the Mobile County Sheriff’s Flotilla searched a stretch of Fowl River and found nothing. On Sunday morning, the search crew again combed the river, tossing out a magnet on a rope. The magnet stuck, and deputies found Rutherford and his truck.
Some people who talked to FOX10 News said they suspect foul play, but investigators said that is yet to be determined.
Rutherford’s family was devastated by the loss and neighbors were shocked that something like that would happen at Memories.
Brandi Puckett said now, memories are all anyone has left of Mr. Rutherford.
"His smile...his smile was just…he could light up a room with his smile. He was someone that you can't forget. Your heart will always carry a place with him,” said Puckett.
Puckett said Rutherford moved away recently and just returned to the area last Wednesday. Friends at the camp said they’ve known Rutherford for nearly 30 years.
If you have any information regarding Rutherford’s death, you’re asked to call the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.
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