Hauer loved police work, outdoors

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Deer Park &8212; The tall oak trees shaded what they could as the family of Jeffery D. Hauer sat by Old River and reminisced about the person he was, while crews continued to search for his missing body.

Hauer, 35, of Natchez was last seen by residents of Deer Park in Old River yelling for help. The Concordia Parish Sheriff&8217;s Department received the missing body report at 2:15 p.m. May 30.

Neighbors of the boat ramp he was last seen by could not get there in time to preserve a life, that mother Jeanette King said &8220;will never be forgotten.&8221;

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&8220;Whatever Jeff did he always kept his mother in mind,&8221; King said. &8220;I always thought of him like an oak tree, he stood tall and proud.&8221;

Hauer&8217;s love was police work, fishing, hunting and his family, father Alvin Bacon said. Hauer began his working career in Dallas working security, moving to Angola to follow his love of police work. He then went to Alcorn and later the Natchez Police Department.

Hauer went on to become a police officer in Fayette before leaving to spend time in Iraq. Once he returned from Iraq, he went back to work in Fayette and took on a second job as a corrections officer in Tensas Parish.

&8220;He was a lot of fun, full of life and always kept you laughing,&8221; Bacon said. &8220;God gave him to me to borrow for a little while and I enjoyed every minute of it. There was nothing I wouldn&8217;t have done for him.&8221;

Hauer was here in a form that stood six foot two inches tall weighing well over 200 pounds and was &8220;all man,&8221; King said. His brother, Travis Bacon, said the fisherman could have done anything he wanted to.

&8220;He drove vehicles in Iraq like no one else could and his vehicles were actually blown up three times. He walked away from all of them, it just wasn&8217;t his time to go,&8221; Bacon said. &8220;He was a good brother and very protective even in Iraq. He was the glue that other people stuck to.&8221;

Bacon returned from Iraq where he was serving as a contractor, to help in the search for Hauer&8217;s body. Bacon was a search and rescue worker for the Navy and dove into the deep waters of Old River Sunday, hoping to find his brother.

Other efforts to find the body have included dragging the lake, the use of cadaver dogs, visual inspection and helicopter flights. Nothing has been successful in finding the body whose family just wants peace.

&8220;To me it would be a closure knowing I have my child back and being able to lay him to rest,&8221; King said. &8220;The love I have for my child will be with me forever until the time the my eyes are closed. That&8217;s just a body out there, but the soul is gone and not even death will take the love I have for my son.&8221;

Family members said Hauer was the type of man that never met a stranger and was always willing to help no matter what. Tuesday at 2:15 p.m. marked the 168-hour mark since the body of Hauer was last seen.