PEORIA — The body of an 18-year-old woman was recovered from the Illinois River on Sunday morning.
Tazewell County Coroner Charles Hanley confirmed the body recovered was that of a female who fell or jumped off the Bob Michel Bridge on Friday.
An employee of the Peoria Lock and Dam discovered the deceased woman in front of an anchored barge near the lock at 8:16 a.m. Sunday.
The remains were recovered and were brought ashore to the United States Coast Guard Station dock in East Peoria. She was pronounced dead by Hanley at 9:15 a.m.
A police report narrative received Sunday night stated "... an 18-year-old female jumped off the Bob Michel Bridge. Multiple law enforcement agencies and fire and rescue agencies searched for the victim for three days. ... the investigation is ongoing."
Witnesses at the Embassy Suites hotel along the East Peoria riverfront on Friday said they saw a woman in the water, yelling for help, while a strong current carried her south, toward the Cedar Street Bridge.
Rescuers used sonar to scan the river bottom between the bridges Friday, and sonar detected possible human images in the channel near the Cedar Street Bridge. Divers searched the river bed then but found no one.
On Sunday, the recovery operation included the Creve Coeur Police Department and the Fondulac Park Police Department Marine Law Enforcement Unit. The latter was already present and searching the area.
Hanley withheld the woman's name, pending notification of her family. He plans an autopsy at 11 a.m. Monday.
The case remains under investigation by the East Peoria Police Department and the Tazewell County Coroner’s Office.
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Dave Eminian is a Journal Star sports columnist and covers the Rivermen and Chiefs. He writes the Cleve In The Eve sports column for pjstar.com. Reach him at 686-3206 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @icetimecleve.