Florida police find body of missing N.S. man

·2 min read
Richard Paquet disappeared after parking his van in Hernando Beach, Fla., Tuesday night. (Hernando County Sheriff's Office - image credit)
Richard Paquet disappeared after parking his van in Hernando Beach, Fla., Tuesday night. (Hernando County Sheriff's Office - image credit)

Police in Florida have found the body of a Nova Scotia man who went missing there earlier this week.

Richard Paquet, 74, had recently driven from Nova Scotia to Hernando County, Fla., with his wife in their van.

On Wednesday morning, a woman in Hernando Beach called local police to report that there was an unknown van parked in her driveway. When deputies arrived to investigate, they discovered Paquet's wife asleep in the passenger seat, but Paquet was not there.

Paquet's wallet and cellphone were still inside the vehicle.

On Friday, Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said Paquet's body was found in a canal that morning.

Hernando County Sheriff's Office
Hernando County Sheriff's Office

The U.S. Coast Guard, boats, drones, helicopters and bloodhounds were used in the search. Nienhuis said a cadaver dog alerted police to an area near a seawall on Friday morning, and divers got in the water and found Paquet's body there.

"We believe there was some sort of medical episode that may have resulted in him leaving the van and making his way to the seawall and eventually falling in," Nienhuis said in a video on the Hernando County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.

Hernando County Sheriff's Office
Hernando County Sheriff's Office

"It should be noticed that Mr. Paquet, when he was recovered, still had his glasses on. So at this point in time we don't believe he was the victim of any foul play."

Paquet had had two brief interactions with police before he went missing. On Tuesday, the couple was involved in a minor car accident, but no one was injured.

Hernando County Sheriff's Office
Hernando County Sheriff's Office

Later that night, police were called about a reckless driver in a parking lot, which turned out to be Paquet, but officers let him go.

A spokesperson for the Hernando County Sheriff's Office told CBC News on Thursday that Paquet's children said their father had no known medical or mental health issues.

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