Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Coroner Says Pastor's Drowning Was Accidental; It Will Likely Never Be Known What Caused Byars to Fall Overboard

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Coroner Says Pastor's Drowning Was Accidental; It Will Likely Never Be Known What Caused Byars to Fall Overboard

Article excerpt

Byline: TERESA STEPZINSKI

BRUNSWICK - The Rev. Jimmy Byars, whose body was found Sunday in the Altamaha River, drowned accidentally, Glynn County Coroner Jimmy Durden said Tuesday.

The 50-year-old Baptist minister's body was floating in the river about 2 1/2 miles downstream from Altamaha Regional Park when Glynn County Search and Recovery volunteers and state Department of Natural Resources rangers recovered it about 3:40 p.m. Sunday.

Byars, who was pastor of Southside Baptist Church in Brunswick, was last seen about 7:20 a.m. Nov. 21 when he bought bait at the park store. Hunters found his small jon boat about two hours later, circling slowly about 250 yards downstream from the park's boat ramp.

An autopsy was conducted Monday as part of the ongoing investigation. Rangers expect to conclude their investigation by the end of the week but it may never be known why Byars fell into the river, DNR Capt. Stephen Adams said. …

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