Body recovered from Columbia River in Longview

By Paul Suarez, Columbian freelance

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Authorities on Thursday recovered an man’s body from the Columbia River in Longview, a Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office bulletin said.

A caller reported finding the “badly decomposed” body around noon Thursday near the 4000 block of Industrial Way in Longview, the bulletin said.

The sheriff’s office is working with the Cowlitz County Coroner’s Office to identify the man.

So far, they’ve determined the body wasn’t the man who fell from a docked Christmas ship near St. Helens, Ore., on Dec. 10, said Brett Dundas, chief deputy coroner for Cowlitz County.

“We’re dealing with advanced decomposition,” said Cowlitz sheriff’s Sgt. Troy Brightbill.

That could mean performing DNA tests to identify the body. Brightbill doesn’t expect an autopsy will be performed until Monday at the earliest.

“We’ll just have to see what we can come up with,” he said. “Everybody is wondering who it is, but we just don’t know yet.”

Chief Deputy Coroner Dundas said the office will be working through the weekend to identify the person. The office is investigating multiple missing persons leads from around the area, he said.

A cause of death for the man was not available.