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Morgan County coroner identifies body found in Tennessee River as Madison County man

Stay with WAAY 31 for updates.

Posted: Jul 6, 2021 9:39 AM
Updated: Jul 6, 2021 2:22 PM

Tuesday morning update: Morgan County Coroner Jeff Chunn and investigators have identified the body found Monday in the Tennessee River in Valhermoso Springs as Bruce Mitchum Parker, 56, of Toney.

An autopsy is pending.

Morgan County Rescue Squad helps recover a body found in Tennessee River Monday near Johnson Landing in Valhermoso Springs

Stay with WAAY 31 for updates.

From earlier:

A body was found in the Tennessee River on Monday following a busy holiday weekend out on the water.

A kayaker out on the water by Johnson Landing in Valhermoso Springs, called law enforcement when he discovered the body.

Mike Swafford, with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, said the marine unit and local deputies worked on both land and water to find the body.

“They were able to locate a white male, deceased, in the water,” said Swafford.

The body was found 300 yards out into the water from the recreational area of Johnson Landing.

“One this year,” said Swafford. “Unfortunately, Tennessee River is a large river and it flows quickly, and it comes from many places so this is bound to happen from time to time.”

Investigators are now looking to learn what led the man to his death.

When the man was pulled from the water, he was not wearing a life jacket. A tool that could have saved his life.

“Nothing was found but the body,” said Swafford. “They’re reviewing, they’re checking with Huntsville to see if anyone was reported that way and then further down the river all the way to Chattanooga, just to see if there are any missing people reports.”

Morgan County coroner, Jeff Chunn, said they’re working to identify the man but need to contact his family before releasing the person's name to the public. 

An autopsy will be performed in two days. The coroner said they’re busy due to the holiday weekend. We will continue to update this as more information becomes available. 

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