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Body of missing Wis. college student Eric Duffey found in river, police do not suspect crime

Eric Duffey WKBT

(CBS/AP) MADISON, Wis. - Police discovered the body of a missing Wisconsin student who had disappeared after celebrating his 21st birthday over the weekend, said authorities.

Stevens Point Sgt. Dan Wheeler said officials removed the body of 21-year-old Eric Duffey around 1:10 p.m. from the Wisconsin River, which goes through the city about 110 miles north of Madison. Police do not suspect foul play.

The coroner's office made a positive identification after meeting with Duffey's family.

Stevens Point assistant police chief Brian Kudronowicz said emergency personnel including the Civil Air Patrol had been scouring a part of the river where the ice becomes open water. He said it is not far from where Duffey was last seen.

Kudronowicz said the department had received new information that led officials to believe Duffey walked into the Wisconsin River.

"I think alcohol had something to do with his actions," he said.

Wheeler said that information included a witness who came forward and said he heard someone yelling for help at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday near the Clark Street bridge. But Wheeler said the witness didn't see anyone when he checked.

Duffey was last seen about 1:15 a.m. Saturday leaving Joe's Bar. Kudronowicz said he may have been heading back to his residence or the residence of his girlfriend.

Several college-aged men around Wisconsin have disappeared after drinking heavily at taverns only to turn up dead in local rivers over the last decade. Former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin's 21-year-old son, Michael, was found dead in the frigid Fox River in Oshkosh after a night out with friends in January.

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