No foul play suspected in missing duck hunter case

Last week we shared a story of missing SC duck hunter Tyler Doyle, complete with conspiracy theories posted on numerous social media pages. But as the search for Doyle continues past two full weeks, law enforcement agencies have said no foul play is suspected.

Several state and local agencies are continuing the search for Doyle, and this week, a Wisconsin-based nonprofit organization called Wings of Hope Search and Rescue joined in. This group brought in boats equipped with underwater sonar and 3D imaging, drones, and cadaver dogs.

Whatever conjecture has come from numerous armchair private investigators on social media, law enforcement and rescue agencies believe Doyle disappeared in the exact manner as reported on Jan. 26, when Doyle’s hunting partner called 911 after seeing Doyle’s boat, which had become disabled, taking on water outside of the jetties connecting Little River to the Atlantic Ocean.

The hunting partner was standing on the north jetty when the first rescue team arrived, having been dropped off by Doyle earlier. Duck hunting from these jetties is not uncommon, and leaving one hunter in one spot, then boating to another spot in order to cover more water or to set up decoys is also a fairly common practice.

Doyle’s neoprene waders, which are capable of floating for an extended period of time, were found by family members during the first couple of days after his disappearance. His wallet and some decoys have also been found.

What really happened to missing duck hunter Tyler Doyle?

What really happened to missing duck hunter Tyler Doyle?

Twenty-two-year-old Tyler Doyle of Loris, SC went missing during a duck hunt on Jan. 26, 2023 near the border of North and South Carolina. A massive manhunt began almost immediately, with rescuers reportedly on scene within 9 minutes of being called.

But as of Feb. 4, a full 9 days later, Doyle has not been found. This despite search and rescue teams from the U.S. Coast Guard, the SC Dept. of Natural Resources, the NC Marine Fisheries Division and numerous other local, highly-trained rescue teams with state-of-the-art technology looking non-stop. And that’s not to mention untold numbers of private volunteers also looking. From land, sea and air, it’s been a search of epic proportions.

As always, some folks jump to conclusions right away. It was the same in this case. Early on, some were calling it a hoax. All a conspiracy. His duck hunting buddy did it. He’s on the lam to escape an upcoming court date. He decided to start a new life. He’s safe at home, but staying hidden so that his wife can collect his life insurance money and hopefully collect some donations from the good people of the world.

But all the speculation has just been that – speculation and rumor. Started, spread and bolstered by those not on the ground, on the water, or involved in any way in the search for Doyle. Meanwhile, those organizations that have been involved in the search have tried to put those rumors to rest. Agencies like the SCDNR have released multiple statements saying this is simply the case of a boating/hunting accident and that no foul play is suspected.


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