Party turns into tragedy
A 23-year-old Manteno man's body was recovered from the Iroquois River at Iroquois Sunday afternoon. The un-identified man was an apparent drowning victim. Iroquois County Coroner Bill Cheatum, who pronounced the victim dead, said an autopsy will be completed today.
Concord-Iroquois Fire Chief Dave Faupel said it appeared a Saturday night party near the Route 52 bridge at Iroquois County involved some public intoxication. Sheriff's Police are investigating.
The Concord Fire Department received the call around midnight Saturday. Emergency personnel from Beaver Township Fire at Donovan, Sheldon, Watseka and Kentland, IN were all at the scene. Firemen walked the river bank while Ashkum, Watseka and Kentland rescue boats worked the waterway from the east side of Route 52.
Faupel said a two-hour search was called off about 2:30 am. The search resumed at 6 am Sunday. Ashkum Fire, Watseka and Aroma Park rescue boats again worked the fast-flowing river.
Sonar equipment from the Department of Natural Resources located the body around 4:30 Sunday afternoon 350 feet downstream toward the west, according to Chief Faupel. The MABAS 41 Dive team from Hudson (IL) retrieved the victim's body.