November 24, 2020

Skull, remains found in boot near Mississippi River identified as man missing since 2018

Closure came for one Mississippi family Monday after Adams County Coroner James Lee announced he had been able to positively identify the human remains that were discovered in north Adams County in July.

Lee said the remains are of Timothy Howell Hearn, a Vicksburg man who went missing from a towboat in St. Joseph, La., in November 2018

Partial skeletal remains were discovered along the Mississippi River in early July in an area called Anna’s Bottom. The remains were then sent to a forensics laboratory in St. Louis, Mo., where they were matched against DNA provided by Hearn’s family. He said a cause of death could not be determined.

“This is a sad but happy day for the Hearn family,” Lee said. “When I spoke to the mother today she broke down in tears, and to be totally honest, I cried too.

“The family has been waiting nearly two years for any information regarding their loved one,” Lee said. “I’m very sorry that the incident happened and the family is in my prayers. However, I’m glad we were able to identify him.”

Hearn, a deckhand on the towboat owned by Riverside Construction of Vicksburg, was reported missing at about 3 a.m. on Nov 3. The days-long search for Hearn involved the U.S. Coast Guard, along with deputies from the Tensas Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and area firefighters. 

At the time of the incident, Hearn had been working for Riverside Construction for less than a month.

Tim Reeves, editor of The Vicksburg Post, contributed to this report.