UPDATED: Authorities said the death of a Franklin County man whose body was found Wednesday afternoon on the bank of the Bourbeuse River off of Shawneetown Ford Road appears to be accidental.
Sheriff Gary Toelke said the man, identified as Gerald Richards, 59, lived in an RV at a small camping area by the river. People who knew Richards said he liked to sit on the bank and feed ducks in the river, Toelke said.
While the cause of death won’t be known until an autopsy is conducted, it appears the man went down to feed the ducks, fell in the river and then couldn’t get back up a steep, slick bank. He may have died from exposure.
Toelke said bread crumbs were found next to the body.
Detective Lt. Chuck Subke, chief of detectives, said there were no signs of foul play.
The sheriff’s office responded to the scene, off of St. Louis Boulevard, after receiving a report about 4 p.m. about a body on the river bank. Toelke said some kids who were running traps in the area called the sheriff’s office.
The location is south of Highway 50 and I-44 and north of Highway AH.