Body found in Illinois River identified as Washington man

By WEEK Reporter

June 11, 2013 Updated Jun 12, 2013 at 9:48 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Peoria police are investigating the death of a man whose body was pulled from the Illinois River.

Authorities say a witness called 911 around 10 p.m. Tuesday night after she saw what appeared to be someone floating in the river.

Peoria Police Captain Mike Eddlemon says the quick response of a rescue team allowed them to recover the body just south of Joe's Crab Shack.

Preliminary autopsy results show 31-year-old Matthew Nettles of Washington died as a result of drowning. Police say he appeared to be in the water for more than two days. He was pronounced dead at 10:40 pm.

The witness, Sharice Lamon, says she followed the body down the river.

"I wanted them to get that man out of there, that's somebody's family," said Lamon. "I'm still just shocked. I can't even talk for real, I'm just shocked."

"Somebody somewhere is missing a loved one so we need to do what we can do to bring some closure and find out what happened," said Captain Mike Eddlemon, Peoria Police Department. "People doing their due diligence and calling and getting us involved, we're very grateful for that."

After the recovery, the Peoria Fire Department's rescue boat took the body to a marine station.

Authorities say that the incident is being investigated as a death. The results of a Wednesday afternoon autopsy will decide if Nettles' death will be investigated as a homicide or suicide.