BERRIEN SPRINGS, MI – On Sunday June 21st, 2020, at 8:47 a.m., a body was recovered from the Saint Joseph River by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit. It’s believed to be the body of the 45-year-old man who was reported missing on June 19th, 2020.
On Friday June 19th, 2020, at approximately 7:15 p.m., the Berrien County Dispatch Center received a 911 call of an individual who was in distress and missing in the Saint Joseph River approximately one mile down river from the Jasper Dairy boat launch. The victim has been identified as Matthew Kihlstrand, of the Village of Baroda.
The initial investigation revealed that two adults and three juveniles were enjoying a summer day on a pontoon boat and were swimming in the water, when one of the juveniles began to struggle in the water. Matthew Kihlstrand jumped into the water and successfully rescued the juvenile, however he went under water and was not located.
The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit, the State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Royalton Township Fire Department, and the Berrien Springs Oronoko Township Fire Department sent personnel and/or boats to search the river for the individual.
The body of Matthew Kihlstrand was recovered from the Saint Joseph River approximately 1⁄2 mile down river from the location where the 45 year old man was last seen on June 19th.
An autopsy was performed at the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker School of Medicine. The cause of death was ruled an accidental drowning
The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office appreciates all the support and cooperation provided by the Royalton Township Fire Department, the Berrien Springs OronokoTownship Fire Department, the State of Michigan Department of Resources, the Great Lakes Drone Company, the Great Lake Search and Recovery Company, and the Medical Examiner Investigator from the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker School of Medicine.
The search and recovery mission was completed, due to the cooperation of all governmental and private corporations that worked as a team.
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