Authorities investigate body found in rural Edelstein

By WEEK Producer

March 13, 2014 Updated Mar 13, 2014 at 10:20 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Peoria County authorities are trying to retrace the steps for a man whose body was found in a cornfield in rural Edelstein.

A farmer who was driving in the area noticed the body just after 8 a.m. Wednesday.

The body has been identified as that of James Clark, 28, of Peoria. Sheriff's deputies said Clark was lying in a field near the intersection of Route 40 and Akron Road.

Authorities found his red dodge caravan less than a mile away on Hakes Road.

"It appears that Mr. Clark had some difficulty with his vehicle and started to walk and something then happened to him," said Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy. "We're not really sure when at this time that caused him to become disoriented."

Clark was found without a coat, but was wearing a sweater.

Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersol said that an autopsy showed Clark likely died of cold exposure but a final cause of death will not be released until toxicology results are returned. Clark he did not appear to have any obvious signs of injury.

It is unclear at this point how long Clark may have been in the field. His girlfriend said she last saw him Tuesday night.

The Sheriff said he will talk with more family and relatives to try and put together a timeline of events.

The death remains under investigation.

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