When Rodney Foust left his residence Saturday afternoon, he told his mother he would see her in the morning, like usual.
It was the last time Deborah Foust would see her son alive.
Authorities discovered Foust's body underneath the Singing River Bridge on Patton Island about 2:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Police said Foust, 40, of Cloyd Boulevard, Florence, had been missing since Saturday night when he wrecked his car at Veterans Drive and Alabama 133 on the approach to Singing River Bridge.
Investigators are not sure why Foust left the accident scene before police arrived. They speculate it could have been because Foust has outstanding misdemeanor traffic warrants.
“He was going to eat with some friends and then go to a club in Muscle Shoals, like he does every Saturday night,” Deborah Foust said. “When he didn't show up at the club and didn't come home Sunday, we started worrying.”
She said it wasn't until late Sunday afternoon that they learned her son had been in a wreck and was missing.
She said her son's friend heard there was a wreck near the bridge Saturday night and he called a wrecker company and found out whose car was towed.
Deborah Foust said she just had a feeling when she didn't hear from her son that something was wrong.
“He was either dead or hurt very bad.” She said she was upset over the way law enforcement handled informing her about her son's wreck.
“We didn't know anything about the wreck or that he was missing until Sunday. I don't appreciate the police not calling me and letting me know something,” Deborah Foust said.
She said family and friends searched the area along the river shoreline underneath the bridge approach Monday. Foust's three daughters — Courtney, Tiffany and Haley — made posters with a picture of their father asking for help in locating him.
Deborah Foust said she filed a missing person report with Florence police Monday.
Florence police detective Kevin Jackson said he was assigned the case Tuesday morning and started looking for Foust.
“Lowery Davis, a member of the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force Unit, knew the family and he called me and we started searching together,” Jackson said. “We walked the bridge at first and then we got a boat and went to the island.
“They had searched along the shoreline underneath the bridge approach Monday. The only other place to look was the island,” Jackson said.
Jackson said Foust's body was found about 50 feet from the river on the Colbert County side of Patton Island. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities said it appears Foust crawled over the fencing that runs along the side of the bridge and either jumped or fell over the east side of the bridge. Officials estimated Foust fell more than 100 feet.
Deborah Foust said she believes her son was trying to jump into the river, but missed and hit the island.
“I'm sure it was dark and he couldn't tell where he was landing, but I believe he was trying to jump into the water,” she said.
The body was removed from the island mid-afternoon and was taken to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for an autopsy, Jackson said.
Tennessee Valley Authority Police worked with Florence police on the investigation.