Date: March 11, 2012
Time: 9:15 PM
The Levy County deputies searched for a 35 year old Williston man last night, Saturday, March 10. The Sheriff's Office received a phone call around 10PM from family members that their love one did not return from fishing.
The investigation revealed the man did not have permission to fish a Williston rock quarry and was dropped off around 1:30 PM. The man was going to fish all day and meet family members at 6:30 PM at a predetermined location. Relatives became alarmed when the man was not at the pick up location and he has type II diabetes and dependent on insulin shots. The man was not prepared to stay in the woods all night since he didn't take any water or food on his fishing trip.
The Sheriff's Office is very familiar with this area. Detectives in the past have investigated a drowning of a young child in an adjacent rock quarry and feared the worse. Deputies realized that this was not going to be an easy task due to numerous lime rock pits in the area and hundreds of acres to canvass. The search revealed the man's 5 gallon bucket with a two pound bass in the bucket that was near a cliff. It was unknown if the man had a medical issue and possibly fell in the lime rock pit that deputies seen several alligators in the water. Deputies, detectives, bloodhounds and a helicopter searched for hours to no avail. The ground search had to be suspended for the safety of deputies due to the terrain and over 40 feet cliffs.
The newly formed Ag/Marine Unit was activated and the search began in the day light hours. Around 10:15 Sunday morning the man was located walking in the woods. The man stated to detective Crooms that he became thirsty and left the pit to look for water. The man stated that he was tired and dehydrated and went to sleep in the woods. The man was reunited with his family members and no criminal charges have been filed.
Major Evan Sullivan
Levy County Sheriff's Office
FBI-National Academy 183rd Session