Authorities investigating whether body found in river is missing West Chicago woman

Updated 5/27/2020 3:36 PM

Authorities are investigating whether a body recovered Wednesday morning is that of a missing West Chicago woman who fell into a river earlier this month in Winfield.

Forest Preserve District of DuPage County police recovered the body from the West Branch of the DuPage River south of Mack Road in West Chicago. The discovery came 12 days after Anna DeJong, 18, was swept away by the flooded river on May 15 while walking her dogs at Winfield Mounds Forest Preserve.


The body was found by two officers searching the waterway by kayak at Blackwell Forest Preserve, officials said. The location is roughly 5.5 miles south of Winfield Mounds.

Officials said in a statement that the DuPage County coroner's office will determine the identity of the body. An autopsy will be conducted Thursday.

"Hopefully, we can bring some closure to the family at this tragic time," Forest Preserve District Police Chief David Pederson said. "We are very appreciative for all the help we have received from the numerous agencies and volunteers who assisted in this exhaustive search."

DeJong was walking her two dogs when she tried to cross a flooded pedestrian bridge near Geneva and Winfield roads shortly before 6 p.m. She 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.

Forest preserve officials said more than 100 search and rescue personnel and volunteers scoured the river from Winfield to Warrenville on May 15 and 16 in search of the woman. Boats equipped with sonar and infrared-equipped underwater drones were used during the search.

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