John Slappey's body found on the Apalachicola River - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

John Slappey's body found on the Apalachicola River

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) – Police say a body found floating on the Apalachicola River Sunday night is that of missing Albany man 34-year-old John Slappey.

More than a month ago strong currents pulled Slappey over a spillway at the Jim Woodruff Dam when he was duck hunting with his brother on Lake Seminole. Sunday night, a Florida Wish and Wildlife Ranger found Slappey's body.  They made the discovery while searching for another men who disappeared on Apalachicola yesterday.

They were searching for one man, but found another. And it's bittersweet for the Slappey family. Although finding the body gives them a sense of closure, it re-opened painful wounds today as the reality of it all sunk in.

Sunday night just before 10, search crews found a body floating on the Apalachicola river in Liberty county, about 30 miles south of the Jim Woodruff Dam. Florida Officials say it's 34-year-old John Slappey although that's not who they were looking for.

A few hours earlier Sunday evening two men from Alta, Florida were in a boating accident. Their boat sank in the cold, flooded river. One man survived, the other is still missing. That's why search teams were in the water.

Monday an autopsy was performed on the body and police received a positive identity at 6pm.  A reality that's tough for family members to grasp.

"It opened the wound up, everybody's still upset," said Slappey's brother Alan Dismuke.

Slappey's brother Alan Dismuke says at least now they can give him a proper burial. A little bit of closure, but no less of a tragedy.

"We found him, so we can put a cap on it now, but we still miss him, that's never going to change," said Dismuke.

And although the search is over, the family says they'll never forget the people who spent the past 35 days searching.

"Words will never express our appreciation, I'm glad they found him. These are special people," said Dismuke.  Special people searching for a special man who was loved by many. And will finally rest in peace.

A PRIVATE graveside service for John Slappey will be held Thursday morning at Floral Memory. The man searchers were looking for yesterday, 48-year-old Ernest Prevatte of Florida, is still missing on the Apalachicola River.


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