UPDATED: Body of Missing Man Recovered by Search Crews

Asbell disappeared after his canoe tipped over around 2 a.m. Tuesday, police said.

8:51 a.m.

Search crews recovered Thursday morning the body of a 25-year-old man who has been missing since his canoe capsized earlier this week in a Lemont retention pond.

For more on that story, click .

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A search will resume Thursday morning for a Bolingbrook man  after his canoe capsized in a retention pond in unincorporated Lemont.

The  and DuPage County Sheriff's Department for 25-year-old Jeremy Asbell as public works crews began to lower the pond's water level.

Authorities responded around 2 a.m. Tuesday to a possible drowning in a large pond at Frontage Road and Woodward Avenue, according to Lemont Fire Chief Carl Churulo. The call was made from a home at 20W461 S. Frontage Road.

Churulo said two men were out on a canoe when it tipped over, tossing both into the water. One man, who authorities have yet to identify publicly, was able to swim to safety but the other, identified as Asbell, remains missing.

Boats from the Lemont Fire Protection District and the Illinois Conservation Police Association returned to the pond around 8 a.m. Wednesday after searches the previous day that utilized sonar technology and K-9 units left crews without any signs of Asbell. 

The Wednesday morning search, which included cadaver dogs, was suspended briefly before fire officials conducted another sweep of the pond in the afternoon.

At 3 p.m., DuPage County Public Works trucks could be seen carrying large pumps to the pond.

Dawn Domrose, spokeswoman for the DuPage County Sheriff's Office, said police and fire officials requested that the water levels be lowered after having difficulty searching the pond's dense vegetation.

Lemont Battalion Chief Jim Sheldon described the pond as "very dark and murky," and said the thick weeds were making it difficult for them to pick up anything in the water.

"We haven't picked up anything at all, so this will hopefully help us see a little bit better when we go out again," Sheldon said Wednesday afternoon.

In an email to Patch, Churulo said searchers were called back to the scene briefly Wednesday night after DuPage County officers thought they saw something in the water. However, after more than 48 hours, there are still no signs of Asbell.

"The DuPage County Sheriff's office is doing everything humanly possible to recover the body if it is there," Churulo said.

Questions still remain as to what Asbell may have been doing prior to going out on the water.

His mother, Linda Asbell, said she was notified by police around 2:30 a.m. that her son was missing. She said friends and family believe he was drinking at a house near the pond before heading out on the canoe with his friend.

"I'm hearing so many different things, I don't know what to think," Linda Asbell said Tuesday. "We heard he may have been at a bonfire at a nearby house but no one will talk to us.

"We're just continuing to pray. This doesn't make any sense."

WGN News reports that Jeremy Asbell's girlfriend, Jessica Gortz, spoke to him shortly before he went missing.

"He was happy. He wanted me to come pick him up at this bonfire party, and I guess this is where it was," Gortz told WGN.

Asbell is a 2004 graduate of Romeoville High School where he wrestled and played football. He is the father of two boys, ages 6 years and 21 months.

On his Facebook page, he lists his current residence as Darien and his hometown as Bolingbrook.

Family described him as a good swimmer, and said they had no reason to believe he would not have been able to make it to shore.

On Wednesday, Linda Asbell declined to comment on the search, but said she was grateful for the support her family has received.

"We're hoping and praying," she said. "We've got a lot of people praying for us right now. I'm just waiting for the phone call."

The search will likely resume at 8 a.m. Thursday, authorities said.

Check back with Patch throughout the day for more on this developing story.

Dave August 04, 2011 at 02:11 PM
To the family and friends, i am so sorry for your great lost. My thoughts and prayers are with you all
TKC August 05, 2011 at 11:04 PM
Thank you P. Everyone needs to let this family mourn for their loss. It was obviously an accident and some of these people who know nothing of the case or the people involved are coming up with some really serious accusations. It obviously isn't helping them get through this any easier.


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