COLUMBIA, Ala. (WDHN) — The family of Robert Buze Jr. is mourning the loss of their loved one after his body was found in a Houston County pond.

Buze Jr. was a veteran who was loved by many. He was a local truck driver for Southern AG, who loved to fish.

“My brother is one I could always call on no matter the hour,” Buze Jr’s Sister, Kimberly Chambers said. “He was reliable, free-spirited, generous, intelligent. My brother meant the world to me and I’m definitely missing him, but I’ll forever cherish our memories.”

Buze Jr. was fishing in a pond near his Columbia home Sunday afternoon when his daughter went to go check on him after several hours of not hearing from her father.

When his daughter arrived at the scene, she noticed his car was still at the pond, but Buze Jr. and his boat were nowhere to be found. All that was left was a tackle box and a life jacket.

That’s when authorities were called and the 18-hour search began.

Columbia Fire and Rescue, Houston County Rescue, and family friends, BJ Stewart and Ryan Kaita, started their search Sunday night and kept looking for Buze Jr. until Monday afternoon.

Stewart and Kaita not only assisted Columbia Police in the search but we’re the ones that located Buze Jr. in the pond for the driver on the scene.

According to his family, Buze Jr. was a man who loved his children, grandkids, family, and friends.

While his family is going through this hard time, the support from the community means the world to them, saying “He would have appreciated so much knowing he had the Wiregrass behind him.”