Richard Joseph Adolphe Paquet, 74

74-Year-Old Missing Man Found Dead Under Water At Hernando Beach

Richard Joseph Adolphe Paquet, 74
Richard Joseph Adolphe Paquet, 74

HERNANDO COUNTY, FL. –  A 74-year-old from Canada, who went missing early Wednesday morning, leaving his wife asleep in their parked van, was found dead, according to Hernando County authorities.

Hernando Sheriff Al Nienhuis said cadaver dogs tracked deputies to Richard Paquet’s body under a dock at a canal in Hernando Beach.

It was the same dock bloodhounds with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office had alerted to a day earlier.

Before divers could enter the water, a Pasco Sheriff’s deputy on a boat with the divers was able to locate Paquet’s body under the water.

Paquet’s body was removed from the water and transported to the state medical examiner’s office in Leesburg for an autopsy.

Deputies say Richard Joseph Adolphe Paquet, 74, and his wife recently arrived in Florida, having driven from Nova Scotia, Canada.

On Tuesday, Paquet was involved in a minor traffic crash in the City of Brooksville.  Neither Paquet nor his wife was injured, and he was able to drive his vehicle from the scene of the crash.

Sometime before midnight on Tuesday, Paquet backed his vehicle, a pewter-colored panel van, into a driveway at 4039 Companero Entra in Hernando Beach. 

Upon arrival, deputies met with Paquet’s wife.  The wife, who appears to be disoriented, told deputies the couple stopped there last night to sleep.  She went to sleep at approximately midnight, and when she went to sleep Richard was still in the van.  When the wife awoke Wednesday morning, Richard was gone.

It is unknown what time Richard exited the van and left the area on foot; however, it was sometime between midnight Tuesday and 7:30 am Wednesday.

On Wednesday, law enforcement officers from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, Pasco Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) searched diligently and methodically in the Hernando Beach area for Mr. Paquet.

In addition to walking the entire area, law enforcement officers utilized drones, K-9 teams (including Bloodhound teams), various types of watercraft, a dive team, the HCSO Aviation Unit, and the FWC Av in their search.

The search lasted over 11 hours until dark and was met with negative results, according to deputies.

By Thursday, the sheriff said the search teams believed it was going to be a recovery rather than a rescue.

On Friday, Paquet’s body was removed from the water and transported to the state medical examiner’s office in Leesburg for an autopsy.

The exact cause of death is under investigation.

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