Body found in Paw Paw River confirmed to be missing kayaker
WATERVLIET TOWNSHIP — An autopsy Thursday confirmed that the identity of the body found in the Paw Paw River Tuesday was Cory Wright, according to the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department.
Wright, 35, of Niles, was first reported missing on Feb. 27, when his kayak hit a log in the Paw Paw River and he was knocked into the water.
Authorities located a body at about 4:47 p.m. Tuesday, about 400 yards from where Wright was first reported missing near 4265 R. Smith St.
The body was sent to Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph and then to Western Michigan University, where an autopsy was conducted Thursday morning.
The report also showed that there were no signs of foul play and it was an accidental drowning.
Authorities spent 43 days searching for Wright. Agencies involved in the search included Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, Berrien County Sheriff’s Marine Unit, Berrien County Sheriff’s Dive Team, Watervliet Fire Department and Pride Care Ambulance.
Berrien County Undersheriff Charles Heit expressed his condolences to Wright’s family.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends,” Heit said.
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