Alabama fisherman reels in pants with bones, wallet of fugitive missing since 1989, police say

Published 9:22 am Friday, September 17, 2021

Authorities believe that human remains found near where a sunken vehicle was located in the Alabama River were those of a man who went missing more than 30 years ago while he was a suspect in a sexual abuse case, news outlets reported.

The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office identified skeletal remains found last week as being those of Thomas Suther, from neighboring Dallas County.

Documents found with the body led authorities to believe it had been there since 1989, when Suther was last seen, WAKA-TV reported.

Lowndes County Sheriff Chris West said a fisherman reeled in a pair of pants that still contained the hip section and femur of a man. The man’s wallet was also located in the clothing, he said.

Almost two years ago, on November 09, 2020, a 1986 Chevy Blazer registered to Suthers was recovered at the same location, submerged in the river.

“Mr. Suther was apparently on the run from the police for felony charges that had been filed against him that same year,” Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Jeremy Marvin said. “The felony charges were in reference to rape and sexual assault. His victims were juveniles at the time these charges were filed against him.”

The Montgomery Fire & Rescue Dive Team responded to a call to assist in searching the river for additional remains.

An underwater drone, as well as divers, were used to search the water. No other remains have been found at this time.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the man died, and sheriff’s officials said they were investigating the death.

The Associated Press and The Lowndes Signal contributed to this article.