Jackson County Homicide Victim

Monday Jackson County authorities fished the body of a 62-year-old man out of the Chipola River. Investigators are considering foul play as they try to determine how the man died.

Robbie Taylor is a friend of Benjamin Rush Cowherd, and one of the last people to see him alive.

Robbie says, "I sat with Rush Sunday at lunch and shared things that were going on over the weekend with each other."

But that would be the last time Cowherd and Taylor would have lunch together. A fisherman spotted the body of Benjamin Rush Cowherd around 9:30 Monday morning. He was found floating face down in the Chipola River near the Christoff ferry boat landing off Bump Nose Road.

Authorities retrieved Cowherd's body from the river along with his Chevy Blazer which was submerged in 14 feet of water.

"Monday at lunch, I waited an extra 30-45 minutes for him to come and eat lunch and share the news with. He didn't show up. I left and went to Marianna and found out later that he was deceased."

In Grand Ridge, Blondie's Food and Fuel is a popular hangout with the locals. The folks here say Cowherd was a regular customer.

Diane Berry, Blondie’s manager, says, "He was in everyday. He would usually come in right after the lunch hour. He was a great person. Everybody liked him. If he wasn't here during the lunch hour, he'd come in later that afternoon and he always brought a paper."

They say Cowherd was known as an easygoing man and it's hard to imagine why anyone would hurt him.

"We've all been shocked. It's upset a lot of us around here. You see him everyday. You expect him to walk in the door and he doesn't."

Authorities are calling Cowherd's death a drowning, but classifying it as a homicide.
Cowherd appeared to have a possible gunshot wound, but investigators are waiting the medical examiner's office to complete their autopsy.

If you have any information about this case, please call the Jackson County Sheriff's Office at 482-9648.