UPDATE: Man Found Dead in Rock River Identified

MGN Online

UPDATE: -- An Oregon man who was found dead in the Rock River Monday has been identified.

According to Oregon police, 91-year-old Elmer Leeds was found by two fishermen before 9 a.m. Monday.

An autopsy was completed and showed the manner of death as drowning and his cause of death is undetermined. The Oregon Police Department does not believe foul play was involved in Leeds' death.

OREGON (WIFR) -- A pair of fisherman in Oregon made a gruesome discovery this morning, after they found the body of an older man near a dam on the Rock River. Despite some potential dangers, many visitors keep coming to a popular fishing hole in the area.

The churning waters near the Oregon dam are a perfect spot for Anglers, but get too close and the current will sweep you under. That’s what police think happened to an older man who was found early Monday morning in the waters near Kiwanis Park. Glenn Koos comes to this spot five times a week to catch catfish. He says years of experience keep him safe on the river.

“There’s a hole that’s probably 30 feet deep and you can just, you know, if you’re out wading you can step right into it. You can’t really tell how deep it is unless you know the river and we know it pretty well," Koos said.

Well enough that he’ll wade into the water to throw out his line, despite posted warning signs on either side of the bank.

“I don’t think signs make a difference. If you’re going to go out in the river, you’re going to do it.”

Dennis Herbig stays out of the water, but gets close enough to the river to feel the spray. He thinks more warning signs near the dam couldn’t hurt.

“There should be signs here that say don’t venture out more than 10-15 feet. Stay in the shallows. It’s an awful strong current here.”

The dangers of the current won’t keep them from coming back, as long as they keep in mind one piece of advice.

“It’s always a tragedy when someone dies on the river. You gotta respect the river.”

Police think they know who the man is, but they are waiting to release his name until they can notify family members.

The coroner’s office is conducting an autopsy. The results should be back tomorrow.

OREGON (WIFR) -- Just before 9 o'clock this morning, the Oregon Police Department responded to Kiwanis Park in reference to a body in the river.

With assistance from Oregon Ambulance, Oregon Fire Department, and the Ogle County Coroner, the body was recovered from the water.

Oregon Police Department has not received any missing person(s) reports as of the time of the news release. We are looking for help in identifying the individual.

The individual is a white male possibly in their late 70’s or early 80’s, with white hair wearing black shoes, black pants, black suspenders.

On the bank of the river, the following items were located and believed to belong to the unidentified male: a gray “Jeep” baseball cap, a brown wooden cane, and a red flannel button long sleeved shirt.

Any information on the identity of this individual, please contact the Oregon Police Department at 815-732-2162.

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