Body of missing man recovered in Cane River


Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies have recovered the body of a Natchitoches man reported missing Nov. 3 according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones Jr.

At 2:08 p.m. Saturday, deputies responded to a missing person call in the 900 block of Fish Hatchery Road near Natchitoches.

Deputies spoke with the grandparents of Randall James Evans, 31, who reported they last saw their grandson, who suffered from mental illness, Thursday, Nov. 1.

The grandparents suspected Evans had left the residence walking after finding a carport door unlocked. This wasn’t the first time he had walked away.  Deputies were called to the residence on other occasions to assist in finding Evans.

Deputies collected information for a missing persons report, entered Evans into the National Crime Information Center as a missing person and issued a local BOLO (Be on the Lookout) message to all officers and local law enforcement agencies according to Chief Investigator Greg Dunn.

Throughout the weekend, deputies searched and were unable to locate Evans.

On Monday, Nov. 5 deputies, along with members of the NPSO Search & Rescue Team, began searching for Evans by ground and water along Fish Hatchery Road and on Cane River Lake.

While deputies were on Cane River Lake Monday afternoon, the search was postponed because of an EF-1 tornado in the immediate area.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, search team members and sheriff’s detectives resumed search efforts by ground and water.

On Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 3:16 p.m., NPSO Search & Rescue Commander Chief Doug Rachal reported search team members found a body matching Evans’ description in Cane River Lake near the shore approximately one-half mile north of Pratt’s Bridge south of Natchitoches.

Asst. Natchitoches Parish Coroner Steven Clanton and members of the Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office responded to the scene.

The body was recovered and transported to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center where family members positively identified the body as Evans.

According to Clanton, there were no signs of trauma to the body and the preliminary autopsy findings determine cause of death as drowning, however, the body has been transported to a Shreveport pathologist for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

At this time, foul play is not suspected.

Family members have been notified.

Sheriff Jones extends his sympathy to the family and friends of Mr. Evans.