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Body of Pensacola man Tyler Norwood found after duck hunting accident – Pensacola News Journal

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A Pensacola man who died in a tragic duck hunting accident on the Mississippi River last month was finally returned to his family after a 34-day search, and his loved ones are now remembering him as a hardworking, generous and dedicated man. 

Tyler Chase Norwood, 27, went missing in rough weather on the river in Venice, Louisiana on Nov. 10, the first day of duck hunting season, according to the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office. Venice is about 75 miles southeast of New Orleans.

Tyler, an avid hunter, had set off in a boat with two friends and a dog to go duck hunting when the boat was overtaken by wind and waves. The two friends and the dog made it back to shore without injuries, but Tyler was nowhere to be found. 

After an exhaustive search that involved the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the U.S. Coast Guard, Tyler’s body was found on Friday approximately one mile from where he went missing, sheriff’s office spokesman Chaun Domingue confirmed. 

“On Dec. 14, the remains of Tyler Norwood were located on the west bank of the Mississippi River approximately one mile south of the historic Fort Jackson,” Domingue said in an email to the News Journal. “Identification was confirmed using multiple forms of identification including the ‘waders’ Norwood was last seen wearing. Sheriff Gerald A. Turlich Jr. and PPSO offer our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Norwood during this difficult time.”

More: Louisiana authorities search for Pensacola man who went missing on duck hunting trip

Kathleen Norwood, Tyler’s wife, told the News Journal on Thursday that her husband was a hardworking man who had just achieved his lifelong dream of opening up his own company, Evan Chase Construction. He graduated from the University of West Florida’s building construction program in 2015 and had spent time working for his uncle at Norwood Stucco.  

“That was always his dream, to start his own business and work with his family,” Kathleen said. “He had just worked for the past three weeks, before (the accident) happened, in Marianna helping with Hurricane Michael cleanup, and that was something he was really proud of.” 

Tyler is survived by two sisters and his parents, both of whom live in the Pensacola area. Kathleen, an annual giving officer at the University of West Florida, said she and Tyler had been together for four years and had just gotten married in April, which she described as “literally the best day ever.”

“I know that if it was either four years or 50 years, it never would have been enough time with him,” she said. 

Kathleen said she was “overwhelmed” by the support she and Tyler’s family have received from the community, especially from the people of Venice, who opened up their homes to the Norwood family as they stayed in the area to help search for Tyler. She said complete strangers in the town would pay for their meals at restaurants and then leave without any recognition. 

“They never gave up, and I don’t think all places would do that,” she said. “But those people were hurting as if Tyler was their own, and it was just really amazing to see. Those people, we will be friends with for the rest of our lives.”

Tyler’s aunt set up a fundraising account, The Tyler Chase Norwood Memorial Fund, at Hancock Whitney Bank to assist the family with expenses related to his death. 

A visitation for Tyler will be held at Faith Chapel Funeral Homes in Cantonment on Friday, Dec. 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. A memorial service will be held Saturday, Dec. 22 at 1 p.m. at Marcus Pointe Baptist Church in Pensacola, followed by a private graveside service. 

Kathleen said finding Tyler’s body was “the most bittersweet prayer that’s ever been answered,” but the family was relieved to have Tyler back home and be able to say goodbye. 

“We just really wanted to bring him home and be able to lay him to rest,” she said. “We all believe in God and we prayed for this, and it took a while, but we’re thankful he’s here.” 

Annie Blanks can be reached at [email protected] and 850-435-8632.

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