The body of a Meigs County, Tennessee Deputy has been recovered after he went missing while transporting a female suspect into custody.


According to Meigs County, Tennessee District Attorney Russell Johnson, Deputy Robert J. Leonard was at his home at the southern end of the county when he got word of a possible disorder on the Highway 60 bridge where he responded to the call, and later said that he was "10-15," which is police code for "I have arrested someone and am taking them to be booked."

Johnson says at some point, he texted his wife a single word, 'arrest.' She responded with a text that said something like 'great job,' but authorities confirmed that that text did not go through to Deputy Leonard's phone.

The next transmission dispatchers heard from Leonard was garbled where technology to try to make out what he was saying was used, and Johnson says they believe he was making some kind of reference to water.

Johnson says after that, the sheriff's office did a county-wide roll call of all deputies over the radio where all responded except for Deputy Leonard.

That's when a massive search began on Wednesday night for the missing Deputy and the female suspect that he was transporting into custody.

Multiple dive teams began searching the Tennessee River, at the end of Blythe Ferry Road, and a little after noon on Thursday crews pulled the deputy's vehicle from the water.

Authorities then released that crews recovered the body of a woman in the back of the deputy's patrol.

Attorney Russell Johnson says the vehicle was discovered overturned in the water, and the body was covered with "a lot of mud."

The identity of the woman has not been released but authorities have been in contact with her family.

According to Chief Deputy Brian Malone the body of Deputy Leonard was recovered from the Tennessee river around 6:30 p.m on Thursday.

Chief Malone says his body will be transferred to Knoxville, and at this time they are still trying to work out all of the details of what happened.