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Missing Oil Exec's Body Found in Mississippi River

A body pulled from the Mississippi River near the French Quarter on Tuesday was that of a missing Texas oil company executive, police said.

Doug Schantz (right)
Source: Family Photo
Doug Schantz (right)

Police believe Douglas Schantz, 54, president of Houston-based Sequent Energy Management, drowned accidentally, said Bob Young of the New Orleans police department.

"He had all his credit cards, his jewelry was on him," Young said. "At this time we feel it was accidental."

Tim Miller, president and founder of search and recovery company Texas Equusearch, said the body was found shortly after noon Tuesday in the river "very, very near" the spot where Schantz was last seen on a security video Friday morning.

"We went out and got a clear picture of it right away," Miller said. "So then we just brought it up."

Police began focusing on the river after tracing Schantz's route there from a Bourbon Street bar. Police searched videos from businesses in the French Quarter were able to place Schantz at the dock for the Riverboat Natchez at about 2:40 a.m. on Friday.

Police Superintendent Warren Riley said Tuesday that Schantz, who left the Razzoo Bar and Patio about 2 a.m. Friday, was seen walking on a 2-foot-wide walkway by the river.

Riley said Schantz, who had been drinking, seemed disoriented on the videos. He is seen going into a restricted area and is not seen again on the video, despite a review of the following four hours of tape, Riley said.

It does not seem that Schantz was the victim of foul play, which had earlier been suspected, Riley said.

"At no point in that 36 minutes was he ever approached or accompanied by any individual," Riley said.

Schantz was in New Orleans to give Tulane University a $25,000 gift during a reception Thursday. After the dinner, he and colleagues went to Bourbon Street around midnight, said Mark Homestead, a senior vice president who was with Schantz.

Police mounted a massive effort to find Schantz, with 30 detectives scouring the French Quarter for videos showing his path after leaving his co-workers. The FBI, U.S. Marshal Service and Customs were also involved in the search.

On Monday a Coast Guard helicopter searched for 20 miles down-river but found no sign of Schantz.

Sequent is a unit of AGL Resources .

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