EAST LIVERPOOL - A body discovered Monday by two fishermen at the edge of the Ohio River Monday could be that of a man who either jumped or fell from the Newell Bridge earlier this month.
The fishermen were about three-quarters of a mile downriver from the Jethro Hollow area when they spotted the body on the shore and called police, police Capt. Norm Curtis reported.
Initially believing the area was located in Liverpool Township, the township fire department was called out to help recover the victim, who was down over a steep hillside past two sets of Norfolk-Southern railroad track.
Morning Journal/Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert
Liverpool Township firefighter Paul Bahen makes his way back up a steep hill, while at the bottom, other firemen prepare to bring up a backboard containing a body found along the Ohio River shoreline.
Once at the scene, it was determined the area was actually just inside city limits, but township firefighters continued with the recovery operation along with city police Detective Darin Morgan.
City firefighters also responded to the scene.
The body was placed on a backboard and firefighters used ropes to pull the board up the steep hillside to the tracks, where Norfolk-Southern personnel transported the victim back to the area of Leonard Street via a special truck that can run on the rails, accompanied by firefighters.
Curtis commended the railroad employees for their assistance, saying it would have been much more difficult for firefighters and police personnel to carry the body back that distance.
Identification found on the body indicated it is that of a 64-year-old local man, but officers declined to release an identity until they can investigate further, saying it is always possible the ID did not belong to the victim.
No one has called to report the person on the identification as missing, Curtis said.
Police received a report just before 9 p.m. April 13 that people fishing underneath the Newell Bridge heard a large splash and a man screaming for help.
Officers arriving on the scene that night also reported hearing someone yelling for help, but a search by police and firefighters from Hancock County, W.Va. in boats turned up no one.
Police said they believe the man found Monday could well be the victim of that incident, saying it will probably never be determined whether he jumped or fell from the toll bridge.
He was transported to the morgue, and police expect a report on the cause of death from the county coroner. Meanwhile, the investigation is continuing.