Body badly decomposed, could make ID difficult

Emergency crews work to get a body out of the St. Joseph River on June 5, 2015.
Members of the Fort Wayne Fire Department's Water Rescue and Recovery Team start searching for a body on St. Joseph River on June 5, 2015.
Members of the Fort Wayne Fire Department’s Water Rescue and Recovery Team start searching for a body on St. Joseph River on June 5, 2015.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Water rescue crews searched for about a half an hour for a body a kayaker had reported seeing on the St. Joseph River on the north side of Fort Wayne. The body, which was found near Canterbury Green Apartments, is that of an adult male, according to a representative from the Allen County Coroner’s Office.

Just before 2 p.m., the Fort Wayne Fire Department’s Water Rescue and Recovery Team was dispatched to a bridge on the 2800 block of St. Joe Center Road, on the city’s north side. The body was found at 2:24 p.m. behind Canterbury Green, off of Old Dover Boulevard in the apartment complex. The body was found on the west side of the river.

A spokesperson with the department said dispatch first received a call from someone kayaking who reported there was a decomposed body stuck in a log jam. The kayaker was confused about where he was on the river and gave the incorrect location to dispatch, making it difficult for crews to quickly locate the body.

Investigators said the body was badly decomposed and could take a while for identification. It’s unclear how long it was in the river before it was found. An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday.

Crews had to take the body from the west side to an access point on the east side by the apartments to get him out of the water.

At one point, police have closed one lane on east bound St. Joe Center Road. It was opened within an hour of the body being reported.

For a more detailed map of the area, click here.

In addition to the fire department, Fort Wayne Police, IPFW police and Three Rivers Ambulance Association are at the scene.

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