Equusearch to assist in hunt for missing Nederland man
Published 6:25 pm Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Texas Equusearch is assisting in the search for a Nederland man whose truck was located atop the Rainbow Bridge in April.
Joseph Paul Gauthier, 32, was last seen around 10:30 p.m. April 29 leaving his home in Nederland. His truck was located on the bridge shortly after he left his home. He was last seen in a red shirt, beige khaki shorts and green Croc shoes.
Texas Equusearch, a non-profit group of individuals who launch search missions, were planning to search the area this weekend but due to a scheduling issue have temporarily postponed the search, Jack Boggess, of Texas Equusearch, said.
“We were planning to come on Saturday but had some other things come up that took priority,” Boggess said.
The group plans to do a ground search by foot, all-terrain vehicles and boat with sonar. The sonar will not be available on Saturday hence the reason for the schedule change.
Boggess said he spoke with Carol Gauthier, the missing man’s wife, and assured her the search will take place at a future date.
Carol Gauthier said Texas Equusearch is a great organization that provides a lot of inspiration and closure as well as being able to providing some answers.
“Fifty percent of the people I know believe he’s still in the water including law enforcement,” Carol Gauthier said. “The other 50 percent believe Joseph was murdered and the truck staged there and there’s a reason the body has not been found in the water. My personal thought? I don’t know. I’m 50/50.”
Gauthier’s thoughts on her husband’s disappearance have changed as time passes. At first she shrugged off the thought that he was in the water because due to gases in the body, he would have surfaced somewhere hence her reason for entertaining thoughts of foul play, she said.
Port Arthur Police Sgt. Scott Gaspard confirmed police have spoken with members of Texas Equusearch and gave their blessing for the group to perform the search. PAPD plans to meet with the group briefly prior to the search but will not stay as Equusearch has their own equipment.
Texas Equusearch has performed searches in the area in the past thus giving closure to family of the missing.
In January 2008, members of Texas Equusearch, with the help of local volunteers, located the remains of Timothy Richards, 26, of Port Arthur in the area of Delaware Street in Beaumont.
Richard was last heard from on Oct. 28, 2007 when he called 911 from Beaumont stating that several men were trying to take his motorcycle and were armed with a gun. Xavier Brown of Beaumont was later sentenced to 60 years for the murder.
Less than a year later the victim’s mother, Debby Richard, worked alongside Texas Equusearch in the search and recovery of Greg Walker, 41, of Port Neches, who was last heard from when he called 9-1-1 in the early morning hours of Sept. 13, 2008 as Hurricane Ike struck the area.
Walker’s body was found about a mile from his truck.
Texas Equusearch also assisted in a search for Adrian Lozoya, a Mexican national living in Port Neches, who was last seen May 4, 2008 in Port Arthur.
Lozoya had spent an hour watching a televised boxing match at a local restaurant then headed to a Beaumont bar with friends. He left the bar at about 2 a.m., likely intoxicated, and visited I-Hop in Port Arthur where he was supposed to meet with friends.
Lozoya is described as a Hispanic male, 5 foot 9 inches in height and about 185 pounds. He has brown eyes and black hair. He was seen driving a 1992 red Acura, two door coupe with one of the doors painted a darker color.
Texas Equusearch scored the area via helicopter in May 2010 but found no trace of the missing man.
In 2007, the group also assisted Port Arthur Fire Department in a search of the canal along Texas 82 and Texas 73 prior to a barrier being placed. No victims were located but two abandoned vehicles were recovered.
Persons with information about Joseph Gauthier’s whereabouts are asked to call Texas Equusearch at 281-309-9500 or the Port Arthur Police Department at 983-8600.