News Releases

2 New York campers lose their lives in Suwannee River

News Release

Monday, March 24, 2014

Media contact: Karen Parker, 386-758-0525

The bodies of two upstate New York residents camping at a state park in White Springs were found in the Suwannee River, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials.

The body of Grace C. Maynard (DOB 08/26/40) from Auburn, N.Y., was discovered Friday at 9:20 a.m. floating in the river downstream from the Highway 51 bridge. The body of her husband, James J. Maynard (DOB 03/31/39), also from Auburn, N.Y., was found Sunday floating approximately 1.6 miles upstream from Dowling Park, FWC officials said.

Mrs. Maynard was found wearing a life jacket but had no identification. About 3 miles upstream, officers discovered a floating cooler with a man’s wallet inside. The wallet’s identification belonged to James Maynard.

The Maynards’ truck was found at the Gibson Park boat ramp outside of Jasper. Mrs. Maynard was identified after officers found the registration and checked her New York driver’s license photo.

The Maynards were registered guests at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park campground.

According to investigators, the Maynards launched a small vessel from Gibson Park. Somewhere on the Suwannee River between Gibson Park and Hwy 51 something happened, causing the Maynards to enter the water. Officials from the FWC, Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office and Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office searched for Mr. Maynard over the weekend.

FWC officials are continuing the investigation.

FWC Facts:
The Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival has an annual economic impact of $557,500 to $562,500 for Brevard County.

Learn More at AskFWC