Body of Vancleave man found in Parker’s Lake
The body of a Vancleave man who disappeared on Saturday was found this morning off of Wade-Vancleave Road submerged in Parker’s Lake in Jackson County.
Thirty-two year-old Matthew Sloan left his home Saturday around 10:30 p.m. and never returned. Sheriff Mike Ezell tells News 25 a deputy saw some of Sloan’s friends looking around the bridge that overlooks Parker’s Lake with flashlights late Sunday night “It looked like where somebody had went off the road so the deputy gets out and looks and it was pretty obvious a vehicle had hit the bridge and went down there and so we started our investigation.”
That investigation later led to the recovery of Sloan’s body in his Jeep Cherokee using sonar on one of the boats. Authorities determined Sloan hit the guardrail of the bridge which forced his vehicle over into the lake. It took several hours to get the vehicle out of the water with the assistance of a wrecker service. “We’ve investigated these kinds of things before and it was pretty obvious that a car had hit that. I mean, these things do happen and you know, up there at various times, we’ve had these incidents, but it’s the first one I can recall at this particular location. It was a big team effort,” said Sheriff Ezell.
The Gautier dive team was able to find the vehicle under the water, which Sheriff Ezell says is as deep as 50 feet.
This community is usually very quiet and people are in shock after this accident. Vancleave resident Steve Little said, “This kind of thing doesn’t normally happen here. This road is so well traveled here. There’s people up and down it all day long. It’s one of the major thoroughfares from Wade to Vancleave. It is just very tragic.”
Jackson County officials had to close down Wade-Vancleave Road for several hours while they got the Jeep out of the water, but once they did traffic was back to normal. They are still investigating how Sloan crashed into the bridge.