Body in Alabama River believed to be fugitive from 1989

September 17, 2021 GMT

HAYNEVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Authorities believe that human remains found near where a sunken vehicle was located in the Alabama River were those of a man who went missing more than 30 years ago while he was a suspect in a sexual abuse case, news outlets reported.

The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office identified skeletal remains found last week as being those of Thomas Suther, from neighboring Dallas County. Documents found with the body led authorities to believe it had been there since 1989, when Suther was last seen, WAKA-TV reported.

Someone who was fishing found the remains near a boat ramp close to where Suther’s 1986 Chevrolet Blazer was discovered in the water last November.

Suther, who would be 80 now, was on the run from police after being charged with rape and sexual assault involving juveniles, the sheriff’s office said.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the man died, and sheriff’s officials said they were investigating the death.