Buck's Pocket State Park


The search resumed Thursday for an 18-year-old Geraldine, Alabama, man who went missing at Buck's Pocket State Park in Jackson County after the vehicle in which he was riding was swept into a creek last month.

Just after 8 p.m. on Feb. 22, the Jeep Cherokee carrying Koy Spears; 22-year-old Sara Lucille Mooneyham of Crossville, Alabama; and 21-year-old Jaxon Cole Jones, of Dawson, overturned in floodwaters at a creek crossing.

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Buck's Pocket State Park in Alabama. / Google Maps

About two hours later, Mooneyham and Jones were found clinging to a tree downstream.

Spears was nowhere to be found.

The search for him has continued daily as weather has allowed, but efforts have been hampered by high water. The Jeep also has not been found.

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Marine Patrol Capt. Gary Buchanan said Thursday that several agencies conducted searches this week along the shoreline and from the air along South Sauty Creek.

"Water conditions continue to prevent dive operations at this time," Buchanan said in a statement.

Jackson County Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen also said crews have struggled because of conditions.

"I don't know of anything they've found," Harnen said.

Last week, "the [law enforcement agency] airplane had been flying all week," he said. "They saw what they thought might be a car."

Harnen said a diver was unable to get to the vehicle because of the strong current.

"They were not able to confirm what it was and then it rained again and the water level went back up about 10 feet," he said.

The creek crossing where the Jeep was swept away is on the Jackson-Marshal-Etowah county line and is the only road that crosses the creek that bisects the park.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at