Man and his dog found dead at Natchez Port Wednesday night; death apparently related to severe heat

Published 11:13 am Thursday, August 3, 2023

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NATCHEZ — The body of a Natchez man was found on the second boat dock at the Natchez Port late Wednesday night by passing fishermen, but Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said this morning foul play is not suspected.

The man’s dog, which was in a vehicle that deputies think had been left running, was found dead, too.

James William Myrick

Patten said his deputies were notified by E-911 dispatch at approximately 11:08 p.m. Wednesday that a body was found.

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When deputies arrived, they found James William Myrick, 69, of Natchez, deceased on the concrete boat ramp.

“Deputies did not find any signs of trauma on his body that would indicate foul play nor anything else that would lead us to believe foul play was involved. Of course, we won’t know that definitively until autopsy results are received,” Patten said.

He said Myrick had fishing gear and was holding a bag from Cash Savers supermarket that included a receipt time-stamped at approximately 1:30 p.m.

“He had some cheese and crackers and catfish bait in bag,” Patten said. “It looks like he walked down the ramp and went fishing. The river is low right now, and the concrete ramp that goes down in the water is steep. We think he must have passed out from heat exhaustion while walking back up the steep ramp.”

Patten said indications are that the vehicle the dog was in was originally left running. However, by the time the man was found, the vehicle was no longer running and the dog was deceased.

Patten said Myrick’s wife and next of kin have been notified of his death.

He said a passing barge noticed Myrick’s body. They flagged down fishermen, who tried to get Myrick’s attention from the water to no avail and called 9-1-1.