The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office says a recently retired deputy has drowned trying to rescue his Yorkshire terrier.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Alison Hudson says a neighbor came to see why the dog was barking Sunday morning, and found Lt. Sam Vitter's shoes and keys at the edge of Spanish Oaks Pond in Prairieville.

Hudson says that while the pond was being searched, deputies going door-to-door came to Vitter's door and were told he'd been walking the dog.

Vitter was 56 years old. He retired in December after 32 years. Hudson says he had worked in the criminal investigation and patrol divisions.

He is survived by his wife, who is a former Ascension Parish sheriff's deputy, and a son who is in the Navy.