Police identify body found in Columbia River as man who fell from Christmas ship

By Paul Suarez, Columbian freelance

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St. Helens, Ore. police on Friday identified a body that was found in the Columbia River as the man who fell from a Christmas ship in December.

John Leroy Sullivan, 43, of St. Helens was presumed dead after falling from a docked ship on Dec. 10. Police recovered his body in the Columbia River on Tuesday, a St. Helens police bulletin said.

Police responded to reports of a body floating downstream in the Columbia near the St. Helens Marina just before 9 a.m. Tuesday, according to the bulletin. Police and deputies with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office found the body just south of Columbia City.

Columbia River Fire & rescue assisted in the recovery.

The case is being treated as an accidental drowning, police said.