Body found in Kansas River

By The Mercury

Officials found a body in the Kansas River Monday night believed to be that of a man connected to a recent car chase.

They aren’t yet releasing the man’s name, but they found the body about a mile east of the Belvue Bridge on Paxico Road near Belvue. The April 5 chase ended with a man jumping from the bridge into the river. Officials hadn’t been able to find him.

The Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office and Wabaunsee County Sheriff’s Office conducted the search at 5:30p.m. and concluded it around 8 p.m., said Greg Riat, Pottawatomie County sheriff.

The sheriff’s offices had assistance from a Wamego resident who has an airboat and years of experience on the river, according to a statement from Riat. Illinois- based Team Watters Sonar, a non-profit that specializes in water search and recovery, and the Belvue Fire Department also assisted.

“This search is one of several that was a combined investigative effort by the Wabaunsee County Sheriff’s Office, the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, Kansas Highway Patrol, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks,” Riat said. “These searches included numerous searches by boats on the river as well as by aircraft from the Kansas Highway Patrol.”

The body was transported to Kansas City for a forensic autopsy. Riat said he will release the name of the man once the forensic examination is complete.

A man jumped into the Kansas River April 5 while attempting to elude officers after the second of two car chases.

The first chase started after officers found a stolen car in Wamego. It ended on Wells Creek Road, where officers arrested Bradley Sutton, 24. Another man then led officers on a second chase, where he collided with a Pottawatomie County sheriff ’s vehicle on Belvue Bridge. The man then left the car and jumped into the river. Authorities could not locate the man at that time. They said both chases likely were related to an auto theft from a convenience store in Wamego that day. Last week, family members said Tyler Gibson is the suspect in the case. They started a crowd-funding campaign to find him. Officials at that time would not confirm whether Gibson was the man in question.

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