MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Emergency personnel say they've removed a body from the Wisconsin River and that body has been identified as that of missing UW-Stevens Point student Eric Duffey.
Stevens Point Sgt. Dan Wheeler says officials removed a body around 1:10 p.m. Monday afternoon. Police say they got a tip from someone who may have heard cries for help in the Wisconsin River near the Clark Street Bridge in Stevens Point, but they weren't sure. When dive crews searched the area, they indeed found a body that has been identified as that of 21-year-old Duffey.
Police had been searching for Duffey in the Wisconsin River. The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point student disappeared after he left a downtown bar early Saturday morning. He was celebrating his 21st birthday. Police do not suspect foul play.
Police say after Duffey left the bar, he called a friend, but about 10 minutes later, Duffey's girlfriend called him and got no answer.
Duffey was expecting his family to come to town later Saturday to continue the celebration. Duffey's family later joined the search team. After learning the tragic news of his death, Duffey's family thanked those who searched for their son. "Our son was a lovely person who liked the outdoors and nature. He had a gift to make people laugh. He had an incredible sense of humor. He was our everything. He was a loving and compassionate boy who will be truly missed," Duffey's father said Monday.
Police say Duffey may have accidentally walked into the river.
Police stopped an exhaustive neighborhood search for Duffey that included the use of tracking dogs and about 150 volunteers knocking on doors, checking backyards and passing out fliers with Duffey's photo.