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Unidentified man pulled from Maumee River may be from Fort Wayne

DEFIANCE COUNTY, Ohio (WPTA21) — Police in Defiance County, Ohio need your help to identify a man after his body was pulled from the Maumee River.

They think he may have floated there all the way from Fort Wayne.

“Currently, we have nothing to match any individual that has been reported missing,” says Defiance County, Ohio Sheriff Doug Engel.

Police in Defiance County, Ohio are stumped.

Someone driving in Paulding County spotted a man’s naked body floating in the Maumee River.

By the time crews were able to get boats in the water to retrieve it, it had floated six or seven miles downstream to Defiance County.

“We’re not certain if this individual was dumped into the river or what reason or how he ended up into the river,” Engel says.

An autopsy didn’t find any internal or external trauma, so investigators are waiting for the results of toxicology tests to help determine how the man died, and DNA results, which may help identify him because fingerprints weren’t able to be taken.

He’s believed to be a white man, 5’4″, and 153 pounds.

Both his ears were pierced, and he had unique tattoos — on his right side, the word “music,” and on his right shoulder, the word “Gemini” with stars cascading down his back.

Even after checking with police departments as far upstream as Allen County and Fort Wayne in Indiana, no one has filed a missing person report on the man.

“I think that’s awful that he can’t be identified first of all, and then nobody’s missing him. He must be a street person or something. That’s what it makes me think, but how sad,” resident Vicki Hoplight says.

“We always work diligently for the family or the survivors in any situation, especially something like this, so that the family has closure and knows where their loved one is, and can get them a proper Christian burial,” Engel says.

Because we’ve had so much rain this spring, the man’s body could have floated quite a long way.

“From where he was located in the Maumee River, the direct access of Fort Wayne leads us to believe that if he came from the upriver side, he would have come from Indiana,” Sheriff Engel says.

If you know who this man is, call the Defiance County Sheriff’s Department at (419) 784-1155.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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