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JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. — A man died in an apparent accident while visiting a cave in Jackson County.

Stephens Gap Cave

Jackson County Sheriff Chuck Phillips identified the man’s body rescue crews found at Stephens Gap Cave as Juan Gerardo Cruces.

Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen said the Madison Police Department notified the sheriff’s office about a missing person Friday afternoon.  Deputies responded to the cave and located Cruces’ vehicle in the parking lot.

“The Scottsboro Jackson County Rescue Squad came out and assisted, and were able to search the general area including most of the cave, but could not get down into the cave,” Harnen said. “Therefore they contacted the Huntsville Cave Rescue Unit, who responded, to go down and clear the rest of the cave.”

“Unfortunately sometime between 7:30 and 8:00 that night they located the body of the victim down at the bottom of the cave.”

“It sounds like this was a sad accident,” Harnen said, “This was the second such accident in the last three years.”

Sheriff Phillips said Cruces had apparently fallen. Officials won’t perform an autopsy.

Harnen thanked the Scottsboro Jackson County Rescue Squad and the other agencies that responded.