Body of Missing 88-year Old Stockton Man who Fell into the Mississippi Found

Created: 06/07/2014 10:58 PM
By: Hannah Tran

(ABC 6 News) -- The body of a man presumed drowned after his canoe capsized in the Mississippi River in Winona has been found. Officials identified him as Robert Duncanson on Friday morning.

He vanished near the Prairie Island Spillway on the Mississippi River. There's a concrete slab that creates turbulence in the river and that is what’s considered as a spillway.  It's where Winona County officials believe Duncanson drowned after trying to cling onto a log wedged between the Prairie Island Spillway. Within 50 feet of this spot, search crews found him.

"Duncanson is a gentleman that’s 88 years of age and he's from Stockton, Minnesota, which is in Winona County," said Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand.

Four boats, connected with one another by a white bar underneath the surface of the water, equipped with hooks, dragged along the bottom of the river throughout the day. Finally, just before 3 P.M. on Friday, Duncanson's body was caught by one of the bar’s hooks.

"We have extended the search out, but normally the body is going to go right to the bottom and stay there unless if it picks up a lot of current," said Brand.

The search proved to be a challenge Saturday morning because of weather conditions. The wind provided a little strength and push to the current of the Mississippi River.

Officials also used sonar technology to find Duncanson, which uses sound to detect objects within the depths of water.

"Basically it gives us a three-dimensional image of what's on the bottom and what the bottom consists of, so we basically look for a shape," described Winona County Chief Deputy Brian Beuerck.

Robert Duncanson’s body has been transferred to Rochester for an autopsy. Authorities say that he was not wearing a life jacket.

The body of the missing 88-year old man from Stockton has been found in the Mississippi River.