Marshall County Missing Boater Search Turns Into A Recovery

Northeast Alabama

Jackie Neil Rowell (Photo: Marshall County Sheriff’s Office)

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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to search for a missing boater, but deputies say now that search is turned into a recovery.

On November twenty-sixth Jackie Neil Rowell’s boat was found on the Tennessee River near the Guntersville  Lock and Dam unattended. Since then the Sheriff’s Office has been scouring the lake and the river using every resource they have.

The Sheriff’s Office says Rowell has been living on his boat for years. Investigators are told it’s normal for him to take off on his boat for short trips, but when he left on November fifteenth that was the last anyone had heard from him.

Marshall County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Heath Thomas says how they found Rowell’s boat led them to believe he had fallen out of it.  “The gear on the boat was found in a forward idle position, all the navigational light switches were on,” Lieutenant Thomas says.

He says that evidence leads them to belive it’s now a recovery to find Rowell’s remains. “It’s going to be difficult because we’re not sure where he went into the water,” Lieutenant Thomas says.

The Sheriff’s Office says Rowell’s family lives out-of-town, and it will do everything they can to get them answers.  “That family needs closure about what’s taken place and it’s up to us to work as hard as we can to make sure that happens,” Lieutenant Thomas says.

The Sheriff’s Office is using patrol boats and a helicopter to help locate Rowell.

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