Man found dead inside car pulled from Mississippi River - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Man found dead inside car pulled from Mississippi River

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UPDATED: WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 13, 2019 AT 3:46 P.M.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- The Cape Girardeau County Coroner confirms the victim of the crash is Curtis Hawkins, 83, of Carbondale.

The coroner says Hawkins death is not considered suspicious.

ORIGINAL STORY

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — Crews pulled a body from the Mississippi River Tuesday, after a car plunged into the water Monday night.

Police and firefighters worked for hours Tuesday to find the submerged car.  

Cape Girardeau Sergeant Rick Schmidt said crews tried to search Monday night but didn't have any luck. 

"Weather conditions were so bad and it made it extremely dangerous for the fire rescue guys," Schmidt said. "The crews held off their immediate rescue attempt in the water."

Schmidt said police received a call from witnesses at the Red Star Boat Ramp Monday night around nine.

Witnesses told police a man drove down the boat ramp into the Mississippi River. 

"The driver could have got disoriented, could have got lost or could have no known where he was going," Schmidt said. 

Cape Girardeau Fire Department used their sonar equipment Tuesday morning to find the vehicle. 

"They located an object on the bed of the river about 17 feet under water," Schmidt said. The objected looked like a car."

After recovering the vehicle, the Missouri State Highway Patrol Dive team found a man dead behind the steering wheel. 

Police said they did not find any evidence the driver had any passengers, but they aren't done searching for answers. 

"Just because we recovered the vehicle and the victim, doesn't mean we close the book on it," Schmidt said. "We still want to know why this happened."

Schmidt said the driver was a middle-aged man but could not release his identity due to police still notifying family. 

He did confirm the car had Illinois license plates. 

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