GRAFTON - Jersey County Coroner Larry Alexander has provided positive identification of the man found at the scene of a river recovery search in Grafton.
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Alexander said James Edward Smith, 26, of Florissant, MO., was pronounced dead at the scene in Grafton at 2:12 p.m. Tuesday. Smith was found in his vehicle on Tuesday in the Mississippi River.
Witnesses saw the man drive his car into the river on Christmas Eve near the Lighthouse in Grafton. Grafton Police Department and Jersey County Sheriff’s Office worked with the assistance of conservation officers from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, MABAS Illinois, the Jacksonville-Morgan County Dive Team and Team Water Sonar Search and Recovery to locate the body.
The car was located approximately 30 yards away from the Grafton riverbank where witnesses saw it sink on Saturday night. Grafton Police said there is no evidence of foul play in the case.
Bower’s Towing pulled the car from the river and the coroner’s office recovered the body and began working on the identification process.