Photo courtesy of AL.com
The body of a person believed to have jumped off Gadsden’s Memorial Bridge was recovered Thursday evening after five days of searching.
The discovery came after multiple days of search efforts that involved many local first responder agencies, and a rescue squad with special sonar equipment from south Alabama.
At around 4:05 p.m., Thursday first responders located the body matching the description of the person believed to have jumped from the Gadsden Memorial Bridge in the area south of the Broad Street Bridge.
The name of the victim is not being released, pending notification of the family.
The extensive search involved more than a dozen agencies from Etowah County and across the state.
“We want to thank all the agencies that assisted us in the search and helped bring closure in this case,” said Gadsden Fire Chief Wil Reed “We would also like to extend condolences to the family and community that has been affected by this tragic incident.”
Dispatchers received a call at 5:21 p.m. Saturday that a person jumped off the bridge near Coosa Landing on Lake Street. The first people on the scene reported a possible sighting in the water south of the bridge.
Multiple boats with sonar and mapping technology, as well as dragging capabilities, have been used in recovery efforts. Other resources that were deployed included helicopters, dive teams, drones, search and rescue teams.
Multiple agencies have helped in the recovery efforts including Gadsden Fire Department, Gadsden Police Department, Etowah County Sheriff’s Office, Gadsden/Etowah County EMA, Rainbow City Fire Department, Southside Fire Department, Hokes Bluff Fire Department, Tidmore Bend Volunteer Fire Department, Ballplay Bend Volunteer Fire Department, Coates Bend Volunteer Fire Department, The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, North Alabama Search Dog Association, Alabama Fish and Game, and Alexander City Rescue.
The victim was last seen on Memorial Bridge on Broad Street at about 5:21 p.m. Saturday. Multiple witnesses saw the victim go into the water, Reed said.
The Gadsden Fire Department's boat was in the water quickly to look for the victim, and, according to a Gadsden City Council member, police commandeered a private boat just after the incident was reported but was unable to find the victim in time.