Body found near Arsenal Island not yet identified

ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL -- Authorities from the Rock Island Arsenal police and fire departments recovered the partial remains of a body from the Mississippi River on Monday, April 17, but Rock Island County Coroner Brian Gustafson says it likely will require DNA evidence to identify it.

Gustafson said a preliminary autopsy in Rockford only determined that the body was an adult male. The age, race and cause-of-death of the victim could not be determined, he said. The body was found on the shore of the island around 4 p.m. Monday by a fisherman or recreational boater, authorities said.

"Tissue will be submitted to a lab for DNA analysis for the hopeful identification of the victim," he added.

Gustafson noted that all such deaths are investigated as homicides until determined otherwise. Whether foul play, an accident or suicide was involved in this death remains unknown at this time, he added.

His office, as well as investigators from the Arsenal police and the Illinois State Police crime scene investigation unit are researching any potentially relevant missing persons cases from around the region to determine if there is a connection to the body found Monday. Based on the condition of the remains, the victim could have died anywhere from two weeks to three months ago, Gustafson added.

Anyone with potential information about the victim is asked to call the coroner's office at (309) 558-3640.