A body was found along the Great River Road near Grafton on Thursday, and authorities are trying to determine if the body is that of a missing Grafton woman.  A fisherman reportedly found the body along the shore of the Mississippi a few miles downstream from the town around 1pm Thursday.

The Illinois Conservation Police, Jersey County Sheriff, Grafton Police, Illinois State Police and Jersey County Coroner all responded to the scene and closed the highway for about an hour.  Authorities have not announced if the body found was that of a female, which could bring closure to the family of 42-year-old Heather Bardsley.  Bardsley was reported missing by family on December 27 after last being seen in Grafton the day after Christmas. Jersey County Sheriff Mark Kallal tells The Big Z the process of identifying the body has begun.

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Bardsley was last seen attempting to walk to her home after being dropped off a short distance away.  Grafton Police believe it is likely she was swept away by flash flooding in a creek near her home, and then taken into the main channel of the river.