Guardsman's body found near sheriff's marine unit office
Desmond Desdunes, 22 (Source: Facebook)
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -
Caddo Parish Sheriff's Deputies have confirmed they have found the body of a National Guardsman who jumped into the Red River late Thursday night and was unaccounted for.
After two full days of searching, recovery crews found the body of 22-year-old Desmond Desdunes of Prairie View, Louisiana late Saturday night. He, along with 19-year-old Joshua Miller of Shreveport, jumped into the river from a Kansas City Railroad bridge on the southern edge of Shreveport.
The CPSO received a call about 10:30 Saturday night that boaters found Desdunes' body, said Sgt. Alan Davidson of the CPSO's Marine Unit. The body was found in the middle of the water about 100 yards behind the marine unit's office.
"We felt like with the water temperature that if he drowned with is hot as it is, that he wouldn't stay down long, wherever he was," Davidson said. "We were hoping earlier but...
"The river is so unpredictable. We do know it goes straight down, there's crevices down in the water. That's why we didn't send divers in."
Davidson said boaters heading south back to the boat launch saw the body in the water. It was about 10 yards past a "No Wake" buoy where the water is about 20 feet deep.
On Thursday night, Miller jumped from the railroad bridge first, with Desdunes following about 1 minute after, Davidson said.
"They both were in the water treading, swimming," he said, adding that Desdunes got tired and started to panic.
Miller helped Desdunes until he got tired and they both got pulled under the water as Desdunes panicked.
Miller was able to swim to shore and heard Desdunes hollering for help. When he looked back, his friend was already under water, Davidson said.
Miller was issued a ticket Saturday for trespassing on the bridge.
"He acknowledged and understood it," Davidson said. "He said he won't be back on that bridge again. His message was that it was a bad idea."
Desdunes' family was told of his death Saturday night.They had been at the scene daily waiting for news.
"It was pretty agonizing on the family just being out here in this hot sun," Davidson said. "Just waiting, seeing a boat pass, thinking they found him and then we didn't have him. So that's pretty hard on them."
"They were somewhat relieved, they wanted him out of the water," Davidson said. "They were holding onto hope that he wasn't in there."
Col. Michael Kazmierzak of the Louisiana Army National Guard said both men were members of the 108th Calvary stationed at Fort Humbug in Shreveport.
The 108th is a Scout Unit that does reconnaissance and forward security for troop movements. The unit was last in Iraq in 2010.
The colonel said Desdunes was a specialist who enlisted in the guard in 2011. Miller is a PFC and will remain on duty pending the outcome of an investigation.