Search continues for woman who fell into a river in Winfield

Updated 5/21/2020 1:06 PM

The search is continuing for a missing West Chicago woman with autism who was swept away by the West Branch of the DuPage River last Friday in Winfield.

Anna DeJong, 18, was walking her two dogs in the Winfield Mounds Forest Preserve when she tried to cross a flooded pedestrian bridge near Geneva and Winfield roads shortly before 6 p.m. DeJong got swept away by the current as she walked through waist-high water on the bridge, according to a witness.


One of the dogs, a Chihuahua, was found alive. But despite spending days scouring the river, search and rescue personnel and volunteers have been unable to find DeJong and the other dog.

Tony Martinez, spokesman for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, said water levels have gone down, which has helped the ongoing recovery effort.

District police, rangers and firefighters from the Winfield Fire Protection District were out on Thursday searching along the banks of the river from Winfield to Warrenville.

"Whatever we don't get done today, we may continue tomorrow," Martinez said. "After that, we'll reevaluate the situation."

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The searchers started in the area where DeJong disappeared in Winfield Mounds. They then planned to move down the river into other preserves.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help DeJong's family. Her father, Dave DeJong, is a single dad whose photography business "has been all but decimated by the COVID-19 lockdown order," according to the page. Meanwhile, Dave DeJong's other daughter has had a brain tumor on her hypothalamus since age 3.

Visit to contribute to the GoFundMe page.

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