Louisiana authorities have tentatively identified a body recovered from the Mississippi River today as that of Baltimore Ravens star Ed Reed’s brother, who has been missing for more than three weeks.
While an autopsy scheduled for Jan. 27 will offer firmer evidence, “based on the identifying marks—tattoos—found on the body, we believe it is Reed,” Sgt. Dwayne LaGrange of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Department told the AFRO.
According to a department press release, the body was found near the St. Charles/Jefferson Parish line, close to where the 28-year-old Brian Reed jumped into the river after an encounter with a deputy.
In a joint press conference with the Reed family Wednesday, St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said the body was first spotted on Sunday, according to The Associated Press. But searchers could not immediately free the body which was “tangled in extensive underwater debris,” due to tricky river conditions, according to the press release. Additional boats and equipment, sonar and divers were added to the effort on Tuesday.
The Reed family issued a statement thanking the search teams, who had scoured the area for the missing man.
“We would like to thank all the agencies that worked persistently to recover our loved one. First, Mr. Tim Miller with Texas Equa Search, Team Waters, Inc., the divers from Madcon Corporation, and the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office who worked endlessly and would not give up,” the statement, obtained from the Sheriff’s Department, read. “We would also like to thank St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office who also helped in the search. We appreciate all prayers and support from everyone throughout this trying time.”
The tragic chain of events began on Jan. 7, when Ed Reed said his brother was suffering “mental issues” and had taken a sibling’s car, cited the AP. The family reported the car as being driven without authorization to “basically slow my brother down and just bring him in, bring him home,” Reed added. “Unfortunately, he thought otherwise,” he said of his brother. “There was nothing illegal going on or anything like that.”
When a deputy encountered Reed at a gas station, he detained him for questioning after the no authorization report came in. Reportedly, Reed pulled away, jogged over a levee and jumped into the river. Reed is survived by his family, including a 2-year-old son.
“For reasons that only Brian would know, he chose to go into the river,” said Champagne, as quoted by the AP. He later added, “We’re just hopeful the Reed family can have some peace now.”