Authorities work to recover man’s body in Meramec River near Ballwin


ST. LOUIS – Authorities said they believe they know where the body is of a man who jumped into the Meramec River at Sherman Beach Park Tuesday afternoon.

The search for the man unfolded inside the park Tuesday night into the overnight hours. They have not yet officially recovered a body.

Sherman Beach Park is just off St. Paul Road in the Ballwin area not too far from Kiefer Creek Road. The section of the river near the railroad bridge is where authorities are focusing their search.

Crews from the Metro West Fire Protection District arrived back at the scene for day two of the search Tuesday. They have had at least one boat in the Meramec river since that time. 

Authorities responded to the area at about 5:45 p.m. Tuesday. Witnesses told authorities that the man jumped from a train trestle in the park area. The man went under and then surfaced but was not seen again. Family and friends said the man is from Orvil, Illinois near Peoria and is 34 years old.

“It can be deadly, obviously in this case, and therefore we want people to wear a personal flotation device at all times when they’re in this type of water. It may look calm, it may look peaceful, it may look shallow, but within a matter of inches to feet that can change,” Metro West Fire Protection District Division Chief Mike Thiemann said. 

Rescue teams and divers searched the river for some time, but were not able to find the man who went under. At some point overnight a body was found in the river near Kiefer Creek Road.

Authorities told FOX 2 that based on technology they were using during the search and witness statements, crews think they have a good idea of where a body might be in the river.

It’s unclear how long the recovery process might take. Thiemann said the water is very murky and is making the process more difficult.

The water season is only a couple of weeks old but first responders said it has been a busy one with multiple calls for water rescues.

“Seems to be very frequent already this year. Lots of people are traveling to different waterways and trying to get out of the heat and enjoy the summer, and we just can’t stress enough that you really need to have a personal flotation device on if you’re going to be in moving water or any kind of water outside of a pool,” Metro West Fire Protection District Chief Mike Krause said

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