Two possible drownings under investigation in Plaquemines Parish
Written by: Sam Winstrom, Assignment Editor - email
BELLE CHASSE, LA (WVUE) -
Two men are believed to have drowned over the past three
days during the Independence Day holiday.
Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office reported that
21-year-old Shawn Meladine and 57-year-old Edward Cortez are both believed to
have drowned in separate incidents over the past couple days.
Shawn Meladine was found floating, unresponsive in his swimming pool around
1:15 a.m. during a Fourth of July party at this residence.
According to police,
a group of people at the party went for a swim around midnight.About an hour later,
police say a friend saw 21-year-old Meladine's lifeless body on the surface of
He was immediately pulled from the water and people at the party
performed CPR until an ambulance arrived about eight minutes later. EMS continued CPR while taking him to the Westbank hospital.
Meladine could not be revived and was pronounced dead.
Police say no signs of trauma were found on Meladine's body.
An autopsy has been performed, but a cause of death will not be released until
toxicology tests are complete.
Meladine is the second potential drowning in the past three days.
On July 3, the body of 57-year-old Edward Cortez was pulled from the Hero Canal
in Belle Chase.
Cortez was reported missing on July 2 around 6:30 p.m. after
witnesses said he dropped off a friend in his boat at the launch after a long day of
Cortez was supposed to meet the friend back at this residence, but never showed
up. Witnesses began to look for Cortez and found his unoccupied boat
about 1,000 feet east of the launch. They then called police to report Cortez
missing and get officers to help in the search.
A search and rescue operation was conducted until about 1:20
a.m. that night. The search resumed the next morning at 6 a.m. Authorities found
Cortez's lifeless body that day on the canal's north-side bank around, not far
from where his boat was found, around 2:20 p.m.
An autopsy is scheduled for today to determine the time and
cause of Cortez's death.
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