LDWF investigate triple fatality boating incident on Toledo Bend


Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident in Sabine Parish July 30. The bodies of Paul L. Murphy Jr., 46, and Joseph L. Sam Jr., 44, both of Opelousas, and James F. Young, 40, of Lafayette, were recovered from Toledo Bend.

LDWF agents were notified around 10 a.m. July 31 about three overdue boaters. According to a witness, the three men launched a 14-foot vessel around 10:30 p.m. July 30 at the Hwy. 1215 boat launch. The body of Murphy Jr. was recovered around 12:45 p.m. July 31, wearing a personal flotation device (PFD), near Stonewall Jackson Drive.  The bodies of Sam Jr. and Young we’re recovered without PFDs around 7 a.m. Aug. 1.

The search is continuing for the vessel.

It is unknown at this time what happened to cause the men to enter the water and their boat to sink. LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident. LDWF agents and Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies are still looking for the sunken vessel.  The bodies of the men were turned over to the Sabine Parish Coroner’s Office to determine official causes of death.