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Body pulled from Merrimack River; investigation underway; foul play not suspected

By Jeffrey Hastings - Special to The Telegraph | Dec 31, 2021

(Photo by JEFFREY HASTINGS) A Manchester police officer heads down to the shore of the Merrimack River to meet the fire department boat carrying the body of an individual that was discovered in the river late Thursday morning.

MANCHESTER — The body of a deceased man spotted floating down the Merrimack River near Arms Park just before noon Thursday will undergo an autopsy to determine his identity and the circumstances surrounding the incident.

State police said in a brief statement that officials do not suspect foul play.

Firefighters, AMR personnel and police, along with state police Marine Patrol officers, were notified at 11:30 a.m. by a caller, who told dispatchers the body was visible just south of the Granite Street Bridge, and appeared to be caught up in tree branches closer to the river’s eastern shoreline.

Upon arrival, the crew of Rescue 1 prepared to launch two boats from the area of the Delta Dental Stadium boat ramp.

Meanwhile, the Truck 1 crew accessed the shore of the river under the bridge, where they stood by while rescuers in the boats traveled a short distance up the river to locate the body.

(Photo by JEFFREY HASTINGS) Manchester fire and rescue crews converge the two boats they launched near the area where the body of a deceased individual was discovered Thursday. The identity of the person has not yet been released. Fire crews responded to the area of the park around 11:30 a.m. while Rescue 1 prepared to launch two boats from the area of the Delta Dental Stadium boat ramp. A caller, who was on the phone with dispatchers, reported the body was just south of the Granite Street Bridge and appeared to be caught in some debris along the river embankment. Crews arrived to find the body of a deceased person caught on a branch in the river on the East side of the river banks. Firefighters traveled up the river from the area of the boat ramp while firefighters from Truck 1 accessed the shoreline under the bridge. Once the firefighters in the boat secured the body the branch was cut and the person was brought to the shoreline. The NH Office of the Chief Medical Examiner was summoned to the scene and Manchester police detectives are on the scene. The sidewalk on the south side of the Granite Street bridge will be closed while the scene below the bridge is processed. One lane on the south side of the bridge will remain closed while the investigation is underway. The age and identity of the person are unknown at this time. ©Jeffrey Hastings www.frameofmindphoto.com/news

Once the crew in one of the boats secured the body, they cut the branch it was entangled in and transported it to the waiting crew on shore.

Officials contacted the state Chief Medical Examiner’s office to request a representative respond to the scene to assist police detectives in the investigation.

The sidewalk on the south side of the Granite Street Bridge was closed for a time while investigators processed the area underneath the bridge.

One lane of the bridge was also closed during the investigation.

Police ask that anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has additional information to contact Sgt. Steve O’Connor at 227-2114 or stephen.j.o’connor@dos.nh.gov.

(Photo by JEFFREY HASTINGS) A Manchester fire department rescue crew approaches the location in the Merrimack River where the body of a deceased individual was discovered in branches and brush late Thursday morning.

–JEFFREY HASTINGS

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