Natchitoches Parish Deputy Sheriffs, along with Deputy Coroners from the Natchitoches Parish Coroner's Office, and officials with the Pointe Coupee Sheriff's Office and Pointe Coupee Coroner's Office are investigating the death of a local woman whose body was recovered from the Atchafalaya River on Sunday morning.
According to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones, Jr., the body of Cynthia G. Cox, age 54, was recovered by officials from the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff's Office and the Pointe Coupee Sheriff's Office after being spotted in the Atchafalya River, near the intersection with Red River, by a tugboat crew.
Sheriff Jones said the Pointe Coupee Sheriff's Office began notifying law enforcement agencies upstream from the discovery of the body and a connection was made to information that Ms. Cox's vehicle was parked near Grande Ecore Bluff. Sheriff Jones said positive identification of the body was made through fingerprint data. Sheriff Jones said the extreme current in Red River, from recent heavy rains, evidently carried Ms. Cox's body the distance from Natchitoches to the intersection with the Atchafalaya River.
Deputies conferred with officials with the Red River Waterway and learned that the three lock and dam structures between Natchitoches and the Atchafalaya River were being operated in a fashion to relieve as much upstream flooding as possible and Ms. Cox's body easily passed through..
Operators of those structures always maintain a watchful eye for any foreign objects, but Sheriff Jones said it is probable that, given the extremely fast current of the river, Ms. Cox's body passed through the structures, semi-submerged and not visible.
An autopsy was conducted and preliminary results did not reveal any indications of foul play. Officials want to thank the American Red Cross for locating and notifying Ms. Cox's son, who is a U. S. Army Soldier, serving in Afghanistan.