At approximately 1:15 p.m. on August 7, Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies recovered the body of Melanie Skipper Borja, 22, Picayune, Mississippi, from the Bogue Chitto River in an area between the communities of Enon and Isabel in southern Washington Parish.
At 5:30 p.m., Sunday, August 4, the Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding a missing tuber on the Bogue Chitto River. Sheriff’s deputies, along with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, responded and launched search boats in the river in a search and rescue effort. The Sunday evening search was suspended at approximately 8:00 p.m. due to darkness.
The search resumed early Monday morning. Sheriff’s Office deputies and boats, Wildlife and Fisheries officers and boats and a Coast Guard helicopter searched the river and surrounding areas throughout the day with no results. Sonar was brought in courtesy of the Slidell Police Department but the sonar failed to locate the victim. Once again, the search was suspended about 8:00 p.m. due to darkness.
The search resumed early Tuesday morning with the focus being search and recovery based on the assumption that the missing woman had drowned. The search by boat and helicopter continued throughout the day and included the Sheriff’s Office dive team. There was no sighting by the end of the day.
The Wednesday search involved the same personnel. By noon, boats and the helicopter had failed to locate the missing woman. At approximately 1:15 p.m., the missing woman was discovered in the river approximately ½ mile upriver from the tubing center. Boats with cadaver dogs had just been launched prior to the visual sighting of the body. The body was recovered from the river and turned over to the Washington Parish Coroner’s Office for an autopsy.