UPDATE: Family releases statement after Alabama student found dead
UPDATE 7 p.m., Nov. 9, 2021: The Walker family has released a statement regarding the death of 20-year-old Garrett Winston James Walker, who was found dead this afternoon in the Black Warrior River after a multi-day search.
The full statement, provided by Prince Glover Hayes, is below:
Garrett Walker’s family is devastated by the announcement from Tuscaloosa Police that his body was pulled from the Black Warrior River following a multi-day search.
“We remember Garrett as a young man of faith,” said his mother, Debbie Walker. “We were so proud of him. He was dedicated to his faith and his friends, he loved to learn, and was so excited about studying at the University of Alabama.”
Garrett was a Junior Aerospace Engineering Student at UA. A private pilot with significant aviation experience, Garrett selected University of Alabama to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps as an engineer.
“He was proud to be a student here and to was eager to make his mark in the world,” said Andrew Walker, his father. “Our son was an exceptional young man. There are no words to describe our loss.”
Garrett’s large family includes his two twin brothers and a sister. They are now planning Garrett’s funeral.
Andrew and Debbie thank the Tuscaloosa Police Department, Fire and Rescue divers, the University of Alabama community and everyone who engaged in the search for their son. A Go Fund me page has been established by the family in order to endow a scholarship honoring Garrett’s life. They now ask for privacy as they grieve.
UPDATE 4:55 p.m., Nov. 9, 2021: Tuscaloosa Police Chief Brent Blankley said they’ve positively identified the body of 20-year-old Garrett Winston James Walker, who’s been missing since early Sunday.
Police said Walker’s body was found around 4 p.m. near the old Bama Belle boat landing.
Blankley said they’re not releasing any other information at this time.
The University of Alabama released the following statement:
Dear UA family,
Our University of Alabama community is heartbroken by the loss of our student, Garrett Walker. Our prayers and deepest sympathy are with his family, friends and loved ones as we mourn his passing.
Tragedies like this weigh on each of us in different ways. As shared earlier this week, our Counseling Center is available for those affected by this sad news who desire clinical therapeutic services. They are here to help; call 205-348-3863. Student Care and Well-Being is also available at 205-348-2461 for students who have broader needs; and faculty and staff can reach out to the Employee Assistance Program by calling 800-925-5327. Please take care of yourselves during this time, and don’t neglect seeking support for your mental and emotional health.
It is in times of challenge that the light of the Capstone shines brightest, times of adversity and heartache where the hope and bond we share find their greatest purpose. We encourage each of you to reach out when you need help and look for ways to inspire those around you. We are all Tide Together.
Stuart R. Bell Myron Pope
President Vice President for Student Life
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Tuscaloosa Police, Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue and other local law enforcement agencies are continuing their search Tuesday for a 20-year-old University of Alabama student last seen early Sunday.
Garrett Winston James Walker, 20, was last seen leaving the Grey Lady bar on Greensboro Avenue around 1:15 a.m. Sunday.
His parents reported him missing after his phone was found Sunday afternoon near the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk, and law enforcement have been searching the Black Warrior River since early Monday.