Man drowns in Pearl River, 2nd man missing

Published 2:49 pm Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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A Covington man drowned earlier this week in the Pearl River at the Poole’s Bluff Launch, and as of Tuesday afternoon, authorities were still searching for another man as well, according to Chief Criminal Deputy Mike Haley of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Haley said that the body of Joe Newby, a resident of Covington, was recovered from the river. Another suspected drowning victim has been identified as Eric Josh Williams, a resident of Holden, Haley said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, officers were still continuing the search for Williams.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is the lead agency investigating the incident, Haley said. Assisting in the search are officers from the WPSO and the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Marine Division.

The WPSO first requested assistance after learning that the two men had launched into the Pearl River around 3 p.m. Monday. Around 9 p.m., authorities were notified that the boaters had not returned, and neither victim was answering their cell phones.

Anyone with any information about the incident can call the LDWF at 225-765-2800.

No additional information was available as of press time.