Tim Miller of Equisearch was out early in the morning combing the Mississippi River for Houston Resident Doug Schantz. Surveillance video on a paddleboat shows Schantz walking onto the boat early Friday morning after a night of drinking.
“He was by himself and you know, apparently he had a little bit too much to drink. Maybe was interested in the paddle boat out here and wanted to come look at it and with it being dark and it certainly appears there was a terrible accident that happened. They got him walking out there and then they watched the video for several more hours and they didn’t see him come back. There’s only one way in and one way out.”
Miller and his team of searchers used two boats equipped with sonar. As recently as Monday investigators believed Schantz, the President of Houston based Sequent Energy Management, may have been the victim of foul play. There was another surveillance video that showed him leaving a Bourbon Street Bar around 2 in the morning. Now it appears Schantz left the bar and walked three blocks to the river.
“It’s kind of neat walking down to the river at night, seeing the boats go by and the lights on the water, so its nothing uncommon. I’ve done the same thing, but I’m not taking that kind of risk.”
I spoke with Miller on the phone as he waited for the weather to clear up so he could get back on the water and resume the search.
“Maybe you don’t know this, but how do you just fall? Is there a part with no railings? ”
Tim: “When you walk out there, it’s very, very narrow at the railing and again it’s dark, slippery and again, if you’ve had one too many drinks. It unfortunately looks like he made a bad choice.”
Miller says it was just about ten minutes after that phone call that he picked up something on sonar.
“I said you know I think this might be him. And then I did it from some different angles and then I got the exact GPS coordinates and went ahead and put a marker buoy on it and went by it again and we put the gravel hook in there and we got lucky and the first toss we did, the hook grabbed him and we pulled him up.”
Schantz’s family was in Houston hoping to get good news. Miller says some of Schantz’s coworkers were at the river when the body was pulled up. Doug Schantz was 54 years old.