GRAND ISLE — The body of a missing Assumption Parish man presumed to have drowned has been found on rock jetties off the shores of Grand Isle, the Assumption Parish sheriff reported Tuesday.
Sheriff Mike Waguespack said detectives suspect Michael Blanchard, 51, of Labadieville, went into the water for some reason, possibly during a time when the water was known to be rough with dangerous riptides.
One of Blanchard’s arms was disabled because of a childhood injury, Waguespack said.
A Jefferson Parish sheriff’s helicopter carrying Jefferson and Assumption authorities spotted Blanchard’s body around nightfall Monday on the jetties running parallel to the shore.
His body was taken to the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office for an autopsy to determine cause of death, Assumption deputies said in a news release.
The body was found about a half-mile from a location on the beach where Blanchard’s shoes, sunglasses and cigarettes were found near the water’s edge, Waguespack said. He said a witness also reported seeing a man fitting Blanchard’s description on the beach.
Blanchard did not show up for work Monday morning at an Assumption auto parts store after going to Grand Isle during the weekend and was reported missing, Waguespack said.
Assumption Parish sheriff’s detectives were able to determine his cellphone was in Grand Isle by “pinging” it, deputies said.
That led authorities to his pickup, which was parked at a public beach. A fishing pole and tackle were found in the back of the truck, Waguespack said.
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