TDP: Jones likely jumped overboard

Published 2:01 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The investigation into last week’s drowning death of a Demopolis University of Alabama student thus far indicates the young man did not fall overboard as originally suspected.

Tuscaloosa PD Captain Lloyd Baker said Tuesday that a preliminary investigation seems to indicate Jones jumped off the boat and into the water Thursday night, just before 10 p.m.

“Based on witness statements of people who had the best view of him at the time, including staff, they reported that the way he went over the rail, it appeared he jumped over,” Baker said. “Even people who didn’t see him, they said the talk on the boat was that someone had jumped off.”

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Further, Baker said, TPD investigators spoke with several party-goers who said Jones mentioned going into the river.

“He had mentioned a few times about jumping into river as kind of a celebration,” Baker said. “He mentioned to a few people that he and some friends had jumped into the river in Demopolis to celebrate graduation and was talking about doing something similar.”

Preliminary autopsy findings showed no trauma to the body and, “no marks that would indicate that he fell or was pushed,” Baker added. “And several witnesses said that no one was near him when he went over.”

The TPD is still awaiting the results of a toxicology report, but Baker said that could take upwards of a month.