Missing man’s car pulled from Trinity River

Texas EquuSearch diver Mark Janson secures a tow cable to the car in recovery from the Trinity River.

The late model Ford Focus belonging to 53 year old missing person Johnny Joe Lowe of Liberty County was located by the volunteer organization, Texas EquuSearch, and pulled from the flood swollen Trinity River off CR 133N in South Liberty County at approximately 9 p.m. Sunday evening. Lowe was last seen fishing from a bridge on CR 133N at about 2:30 a.m on June 27.

According to Liberty County Sheriff’s lead Investigator James R. McQueen, Tim Miller, director of Texas EquuSearch, had conducted a side scan sonar search over this portion of the Trinity River on July 4, and recorded a “hit” on a vehicle but due to the flooded condition of the river and the swift current it was not safe to put a diver into the water to check this vehicle out.

A second search began at 9 a.m. Sunday morning after the water level has receded somewhat, however, the current, although less than the week before, was still swift and treacherous for the diver to work underwater. The submerged vehicle was located and identified by diver Janson late Sunday evening and the difficult task of attaching a heavy tow cable onto the vehicle in the swift current went on through the late afternoon.  

At approximately 9 p.m., with the assistance of the Hardin Volunteer Fire Department’s flood lights, the vehicle was pulled to the bank and loaded onto a wrecker. Investigator McQueen said the car will be stored and examined for evidence as the investigation continues.  

TIm Miller, director of Texas EquuSearch, navigates the boat for TES diver Mark Janson to secure a tow cable to the submerged vehicle.

Investigator McQueen requests that anyone having information as to the whereabouts of Johnny Lowe or any information on the facts of this case to contact the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office at (936) 336-4500 or the Multi-County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-392-STOP (7867). The identity of anyone providing information to Crime Stoppers will remain anonymous and a cash reward will be provided.


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