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LDWF Agents Investigating Triple Fatality Boating Incident in Toledo Bend

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident that occurred in Sabine Parish on July 30.

The bodies of Paul L. Murphy Jr., 46, of Opelousas, Joseph L. Sam Jr., 44, of Opelousas, James F. Young, 40, of Lafayette, were recovered from Toledo Bend.

LDWF agents were notified around 10 a.m. on July 31 about three overdo boaters on Toledo Bend. According to a witness, the three men launched a 14-foot vessel around 10:30 p.m. on July 30 at the Hwy. 1215 boat launch.

The body of Murphy Jr. was recovered around 12:45 p.m. wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) on July 31 near Stonewall Jackson Dr.  The bodies of Sam Jr. and Young were recovered around 7 a.m. on Aug. 1 without wearing PFDs.

The search is continuing for the vessel. It is unknown at this time what happened to cause the men to enter the water and their boat to sink.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident. LDWF agents and Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies are still looking for the sunken vessel.  The bodies of the men were turned over to the Sabine Parish Coroner’s Office to determine official causes of death.