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Body pulled from water

Discovered by canoeists Saturday in Conn. River

SUNDERLAND — On Saturday, firefighters pulled a man’s body from the Connecticut River after two Shutesbury men in a canoe spotted the body and followed it down the swollen river for nearly two hours.

According to the Greenfield Police Department Facebook page, the body found is that of an approximately 28-year-old male, and matched the description of a Greenfield man missing under circumstances described as not suspicious.

Greenfield Police Lt. Joseph Burge said he knew there were suspicions as to the identity of the body but knew no more than was listed in the call log.

The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office said positive identification and cause of death will be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

A Greenfield man has been missing since Jan. 26, when he is thought to have jumped from the French King Bridge in Erving. Erving Police found the man’s car and car keys, but he was not seen to jump. Whether this is the same man could not be confirmed Sunday.

Ronald Meck and his son Adrian Meck, 25, both of Shutesbury, found the floating body while out on the river on one of the first nice Saturdays of spring and stayed with the body for miles.

“We stayed committed to making sure he was recovered for the family’s sake, obviously, more than anything. I’m sure that’s a hard enough thing as it is without having to imagine where the body is,” Ronald Meck said.

“We were canoeing down from just above the confluence of the Deerfield and the Connecticut, and you know how you’re always kind of looking at what’s that floating in the river, we came upon him below the second railroad bridge,” Ronald Meck said.

They called 911 then stayed with the body. Ronald Meck said he and his son are experienced canoeists, but it is difficult when not setting your own course through the river full of eddies and logs at this time of year while on the phone with dispatchers.

Adrian Meck said they had to hang up after the canoe got turned around.

They passed through Montague then Deerfield and into Sunderland, where firefighters launching from the Sunderland Boat Ramp met them just north of Sugarloaf Mountain at 3:32 p.m. and took the body to shore. The Sunderland, Turners Falls and Greenfield fire departments launched boats.

State and local police and firefighters searched a stretch of the Deerfield and Connecticut rivers in March with boats and a helicopter, coming up empty in their search for the missing man and a missing Greenfield woman.

Rebecca Streeter, 35, of Camp Avenue, has been missing since Feb. 25. Greenfield Police said at the time there is no indication she went into the water, but her home is on the bank of the Deerfield River.

You can reach Chris Curtis at: ccurtis@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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