VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - Friends and family members are mourning the loss of a Vancleave man whose body was found in Bluff Creek Sunday afternoon.
His drowning is being investigated by the Jackson County Sheriff's Department as an accident, but his death remains a mystery to those who were closest to him.
Thirty-eight-year-old Anthony Pippenger went missing Saturday afternoon while helping a friend move at the Bluff Creek Campground. Friends left him for just a brief moment to take his ill wife back home.
"When we got back, the landlord said that he had took off walking," said friend Chris Jones. "And that was the last time we saw him. It was probably about 1:30 or so," said Chris Jones.
Jones says Pippenger liked to walk, but this was out of the ordinary.
"We was riding around all night looking for him because it made no sense," Jones said. "We figured he was going to walk home but apparently not."
Pippenger was reported missing at noon Sunday, and just a couple of hours later, family and friends had to face the grim reality.
Jackson County Sheriff''s Office dive team and Department of Marine Resources patrol found his body at Barge Landing, a popular boat launch and picnic area, around 3 p.m.
Now, friends and family are left trying to figure out what happened.
"The only thing I heard, some people was walking around there, they saw him swimming," Jones said. "And they turned around, when they were coming back, it looked like the saw him going under.