Missing man’s remains found after nearly 40 years submerged in Alabama river

Published 9:32 am Friday, October 28, 2022

An Alabama man’s skeletal remains were found last week inside a 1980 Ford Bronco submerged in an Alabama river, nearly 40 years after he went missing.

The bizarre tale started in April 1983 when Alan Douglas Livingston, 25, of Rainbow City, Alabama, went missing.

Shortly after Livingston was reported missing, a drifter who was arrested in Arkansas for a Texas murder seemingly admitted to Livingston’s murder.

Police then said during an interview, William Roth Jr., now 61 years old, admitted to hitting Livingston in the head with a board during an argument in Gadsden. But Roth was never clear on where he put Livingston’s body. Despite searching in several areas, police eventually ran out of options and the case grew cold.

Then, in January, a Virginia scuba diver who travels the country trying to help law enforcement locate missing people, traveled to Alabam and used sonar to search parts of the Coosa River.

The diver, Chris Overstreet, located the 1980 Ford Bronco buried in river silt up to the windshield and immediately alerted authorities. The vehicle was submerged in approximately 18 feet of water, some 30 feet from the riverbank near the apartment complex where Livingston was reportedly last seen alive.

Due to the deteriorated condition of the vehicle Gadsden police sought the help of outside experts to determine how best to handle removing evidence.

Earlier this week, an FBI dive team came to the scene and used a dredge to carefully clear out the inside of the Bronco and located the skeletal remains believed to belong to Livingston, ending a nearly 40-year mystery.

The suspect, Roth is serving a life sentence in a Texas jail.