Diver found dead in Jackson County identified

A diver's body was pulled from Merritts Mill Pond in Marianna near the caves.
Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 3:43 AM CDT
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Officials have identified the body of a diver found dead in a Jackson County cave.

Jackson County Sheriff’s officials recovered the body of 68-year-old Clyde Douglas Rorex who they say accidentally drowned while cave diving at Merritts Mill Pond in Marianna.

Officials say it happened early Wednesday morning. The diver’s family contacted Sheriff’s Officials around 10 a.m. when they noticed he didn’t return.

Expert cave diver Edd Sorenson came to assist deputies during the search around noon. Sorenson said they found the diver’s boat near the caves and saw no air bubbles coming from inside the cave. He said when he got in the water, he was able to track down Rorex by following the primary reel line, which helps divers move throughout the caves.

“I started following it down and it goes to a couple restrictions,” said Sorenson. “Drops down a chimney that’s 12 foot in diameter. As I was descending down, there was the body right there. He was really close to making it out, probably less than 120 feet from the entrance.”

Jackson County Sheriff’s officials said Rorex’s body has been sent to the Medical Examiner’s office.

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