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updated: 11/27/2012 9:36 PM

Elgin man, 51, found dead in Fox River Tuesday

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  • Elgin police officers process the scene of a drowning Tuesday along the Fox River near Festival Park. The victim was James Trausch, police said.

       Elgin police officers process the scene of a drowning Tuesday along the Fox River near Festival Park. The victim was James Trausch, police said.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

  • Elgin police evidence technician Mike Gough, right, places some of the belongings of a drowning victim into a bag held by animal control officer James Rog Tuesday along the Fox River near Festival Park in Elgin.

       Elgin police evidence technician Mike Gough, right, places some of the belongings of a drowning victim into a bag held by animal control officer James Rog Tuesday along the Fox River near Festival Park in Elgin.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

 

Elgin police were called Tuesday to retrieve a dead body from the Fox River between Festival Park and the Grand Victoria Casino for the second time in less than two months.

A passer-by noticed 51-year-old James Trausch's bag on the sidewalk near the riverbank at about 11 a.m. Tuesday, and when he looked into the water, he saw Trausch's red jacket and the Elgin man already dead. He spoke with casino security personnel who called police, according to Elgin Police Department Cmdr. Glenn Theriault.

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Police knew Trausch as a homeless man who stayed in the area and identified the body themselves.

"It's always sad when we see these cases," Theriault said. "There are numerous places where people can go for help here in this town, even a few blocks away. Unfortunately in this case, it took a tragic turn."

Police will continue to investigate the case, following up with family members, friends, soup kitchens and anyone who may have seen Trausch in the last few days, Theriault said. Police do not expect foul play was a factor in his death.

Parks and Recreation Department employees patrolled the riverbank near Festival Park at 2 p.m. Monday and did not see Trausch nor his bag, Theriault said. Police expect he fell into the water sometime after that.

Elgin's dive team pulled Trausch out of the water from the edge of the river and the Kane County Coroner was called to recover the body.

James Miller, one of two men fishing in the river when Roberto Hernandez's body was found Oct. 9, stopped by the police scene Tuesday. He said he hasn't been fishing since that day, taking up hunting instead.

"I just don't like this spot no more," Miller said.

JoAnn Stingley, of the Elgin Police Department, is coordinating a new program to make sure homeless people do not fall through the cracks between various social service agencies in the area. For more information about Community Assessment and Management of Persons Needing Shelter, call (847) 289-2700.

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