Local police assist with Florida manhunt

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Two Andalusia Police Department officers were a part of a recovery team searching for a missing Lake Seminole, Fla., hunter Tuesday.

John Mark Slappey, 34, a truck driver from Albany, Ga., was duck hunting on Lake Seminole around 1 p.m. Sunday when the float tube he was in got swept into the strong current of water being released from the lake at the Jim Woodruff Dam.

Chief Wilbur Williams said assistant chief Mike Bowlan and Sgt. Barney Tyree — both members of the APD’s dive team — responded shortly after 10 a.m. to a call for assistance. Williams said Bowlan and Tyree used the department’s sonar system to scour the bottoms of the waterways.

The search was called off shortly before 4 p.m. due to hazardous weather conditions.

“Both Chief Bowlan and Sgt. Tyree have the training and ability to deal with this type of environment, and because we have utilized available Homeland Security Grant money to purchase state of the art equipment for the APD we are prepared to respond to these types of emergencies and to provide quality service when we get there,” he said.

— Stephanie Nelson