Tennessee Deputy’s Patrol Car Pulled from River with 2 Bodies Inside, Police Confirm


The body of the woman that he is alleged to have arrested and his deputy patrol car were found in the river

Tennessee deputy’s remains are escorted by police after they were found in a river

The vehicle of Meigs County Deputy Robert “R.J.” Leonard was pulled out of the Tennessee River by officials on Thursday, February 15. Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office

After his patrol car had been found submerged, the body of a Tennessee deputy who vanished after making an arrest has now been recovered.

Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee confirmed via Facebook that the body of 35-year-old Deputy Robert Leonard was found Thursday evening.

Police said that motor units from the HCSO and Tennessee Highway Patrol as well as the Chattanooga Police Department are escorting his remains to the Knoxville Regional Medical Examiner’s Office.

The police cruiser was found in Tennessee’s Hiwassee River. (U.S. Forest Service)

Leonard, a rookie officer, responded to the report of a woman and man fighting on a bridge just before 10 pm on Wednesday and took her into custody.

After he failed a status check, authorities began looking for him.

Johnson stated that Leonard sent a text message to his wife saying, “Arrest.”

Johnson said that his wife replied with a text saying, “That’s great” or “That’s good.” Johnson made the statement during a briefing to reporters. “We know his phone didn’t receive this text.”

Russell Johnson, Meigs County district attorney, at a Thursday press conference. (Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office).

Leonard’s patrol car was discovered upside down in the Hiwassee River by authorities early Thursday morning.

The body of a woman was found by the police in the rear seat of a patrol car. The police believe the body is that of the arrested person.

The vehicle was found in the water by multiple agencies.

Johnson stated that the accident was likely an accident in a Thursday press conference.

Johnson stated that an initial report indicated that the deputy was texting and talking on his radio while driving through a dimly lit area.

Johnson, at the press conference, said that the accident was likely an accident. He missed his turn, was unfamiliar with the area, and was possibly doing other things that caused him to fall into the water.

Officials reported that the 35-year-old deputy lived nearby, with his wife and their three children.

Jackie Melton, Meigs County sheriff, said that Deputy Leonard was on the force for about two months. “He was doing an excellent job.” It was a really good job. It’s hard when the department feels like a big family.