A man who was pulled from the Mississippi River Sunday and died did not drown according to Jersey County authorities. 54-year-old Timothy Bechtold of Dow apparently died of a heart attack while he was swimming near Piasa Creek. He had been pulled from the water by the time first responders arrived on the scene.
Bechtold was swimming in the area on Sunday evening with a friend, when he tried to swim out further into the river to a nearby island and began to struggle. Bechtold went under the water and the friend was able to get to him and pull him back to shore, but Bechtold died at the scene. Initial autopsy results show signs of coronary heart disease, which is listed as the preliminary cause of death. Funeral arrangements are being handled through Gent Funeral Home in Alton.