BARTTAHTCHIE — One week after he was last seen swimming in the Buttahatchie River, the body of Smithville teen Taylor “T.O.” Smith was recovered.
According to Monroe County Sheriff Andy Hood, Smith’s body was recovered at approximately 7:30a.m.
“Smith’s body was recovered by volunteer Howard Hughes, Amory Police Officer Nick Weaver and deputy John Bishop,” Hood said. “Howard has volunteered his time all week to help and he should really be commended his efforts. We want to thank everyone for their hard work and dedication and we want to thank the community for the compassion they have shown. Wildlife and Fishery officers from all over the state have come to help and have been there from sunrise to dark.”
Smith drowned on May 15 while swimming with friends in the Buttahatchie River. Local and regional agencies participated in night and day recovery efforts in the search for Smith’s body.
Monroe County Coroner Alan Gurley says Taylor Smith’s death has been ruled an accidental drowning.
The search for Smith’s body took another tragic turn Wednesday when Itawmaba Dive Team member David Sheffield died while searching for Smith’s body.
Sheffield, 44, of Dorsey, was aiding in the recovery effort when he returned to the surface and complained of shortness of breath. He was transported to Pioneer Community Hospital in Aberdeen where he was pronounced dead.
Sheffield was the owner of ACOR Bonding in Tupelo and he worked for the Itawamba County Sheriff’s Department from 1999 until 2003 when he took a job with the Lee County Sheriff’s Department.
“He was very dedicated to his job,” Leon Hayes said. “He was one of those who never questioned what needed to be done to get the job done. David was one of those who, if someone needed him, even off duty, he helped. He didn’t try to shove anything off on anyone else. When he was on duty, I knew things were going to be taken care of. This is very, very tragic. I’m extremely sympathetic to his family. He wasn’t just an officer, he was also a close, personal friend. His loss is very sad. He was a good person.”
Jeff Clark/Monroe360.com-Monroe Journal