Body found floating in Missouri River; autopsy to determine cause of death

The body of a man was pulled from the Missouri River Sunday near Atchison, Kansas, according to Police Chief Mike Wilson.

An autopsy is expected to be performed Monday, Wilson said, and that will help provide clues about the man’s identity and how he died.

“We have no reason to believe foul play was involved at this point,” Wilson said. “We didn’t see any indication of trauma.”

A jogger running along the riverfront near downtown Atchison spotted the body about 11:30 a.m. Sunday and called police, Wilson said.

Police arrived shortly thereafter and tracked the body until a boat from the fire department could respond. The body was pulled from the river about a mile from the Amelia Earhart Bridge, which carries U.S. 59 highway over the Missouri River.

The autopsy will help determine how long the man’s body was in the river. Based on river conditions and temperatures, police think the body was in the river for at least a day, if not more, Wilson said.

The autopsy will help determine from how far north the body could have traveled.

The Atchison Police Department has contacted law enforcement in communities upstream to see if they have any missing persons. There were some tattoos on the body, which might help police identify the man.

Police may release photos of the tattoos if they need help identifying the man after the autopsy, Wilson said.

Anyone who might know the identity of the man should contact their local police department or detectives with the Atchison Police Department at 913-367-4323.

Related stories from Kansas City Star

Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at the crack of dawn. He’s been at The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing.