Body recovered under French King Bridge after man fishing alerted police

  • Rescuers dive in the Connecticut River on Friday morning following a report that someone may have jumped off the French King Bridge on Thursday evening. A body was recovered on Saturday. Staff Photo/Domenic Poli

  • Northfield Fire Chief Floyd “Skip” Dunnell III looks down off the French King Bridge late Friday morning as he observes divers searching the Connecticut River following a report that someone may have jumped off the French King Bridge on Thursday evening. A body was recovered on Saturday. Staff Photo/Domenic Poli

Published: 7/5/2021 7:01:58 PM

GILL — After rescue teams had searched the Connecticut River Thursday and Friday for a man suspected of jumping from the French King Bridge, a fisherman discovered a body in the river north of the bridge Saturday morning.

Dive teams began the search after a truck found apparently abandoned at a rest stop on Route 2 was determined to belong to a 55-year-old Millis man sought by Norfolk Police, according to the Northwestern district attorney’s office. Police had issued an alert in connection with an incident reported earlier in the day.

A Montague Police canine search team searched the area around the bridge and the rest area where the truck was parked with its keys inside, but found nobody.

The man fishing was about a half mile north of the French King Bridge on the Gill side of the Connecticut River when he discovered the body and called 911.

Police recovered the body, which was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, who will determine a cause of death, according to district attorney’s office spokeswoman Laurie Loisel. No foul play is suspected.

Massachusetts State Police underwater recovery team members worked with Environmental Police and State Police troopers assigned to the Northwestern district attorney’s office, as well as members of the Northfield, Turners Falls and Greenfield fire departments, to search the river Thursday before the mission was called off at 8:50 p.m. due to light and weather conditions.

Northfield Fire Chief and Northfield Dive/Rescue Team leader Floyd “Skip” Dunnell III said they “dove extensively” on Friday but the “torrential rains” created difficult current and visibility conditions.




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