Swansea man found dead in pond near Centralia motel

Swansea man found dead in pond near Centralia motel

CENTRALIA, IL — The Clinton County Coroner’s Office has identified the missing man’s whose body that was found in a pond near the Best Western Motel on Centralia’s west side. Officers responded around 10am Sunday to the motel on a report of a missing/endangered person. Family members of 37-year-old Jeffrey Downs of Swansea had called the police and advised that they had not had any contact with a subject who was staying at the hotel since Friday evening.

The family told police that Downs had been experiencing mental health issues, and they were worried for his safety and went to the motel to try and locate him. Motel management/staff and Down’s family were trying to determine the last time he had been present at the facility. Eventually, staff was able to pull up video surveillance footage showing Downs walking toward a drainage pond located just north of the hotel late Friday night early Saturday morning. A jacket belonging to Down’s was found in the pond and the Centralia Fire Department was called to the scene with a boat. After a brief 45 minute search, Down’s body was located beneath the water in the pond. Family members positively identified his remains.

Investigators from the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department and the Clinton County Coroner responded to the scene as the pond is located approximately 150 feet outside city limits. No foul play is currently suspected but a full autopsy will be scheduled at another date and all further information relating to the investigation will be provided by the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department.

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