Des Plaines River drowning victim identified

    The body of a man who drowned in the Des Plaines River near Wilmington Sunday was recovered Tuesday morning, about one mile from where he was last seen.
    He has been identified as Baldur Kirsch, 47, of Minooka.
    The Channahon Fire Protection District responded Sunday, July 8, at 6:52 p.m. to a report of a male who jumped off a recreational boat into the Des Plaines River, about one-half mile west of Harborside Marina, and never surfaced.
    Upon arrival, a search was initiated in the area of the Des Plaines River where it merges with the Kankakee River, but by 9 p.m. the rescue mission had been turned into a recovery effort, the Channahon fire Protection District reported.
    Watercraft teams searched the last seen points as well as other areas on the Des Plaines and Illinois River on Monday, and returned to the effort on Tuesday. At 8:48 a.m. Tuesday, the body of a man matching the description of the missing swimmer was found in the Des Plaines River, near a popular spot known as the “Picnic Lookout.”
    Emergency personnel, boats, and divers came from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm) Divisions 15’s Water Rescue and Incident Support teams, the Wilmington Emergency Services and Disaster Agency, Elwood Fire Protection District, the United States Coast Guard, Lifestar Medical Helicopter, and the staff at the Harborside Marina.
    Sonar, aerial and visual searches included the water and the shorelines.
    The Grundy County coroner’s office and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are conducting an investigation. An autopsy was scheduled.
    Kirsch was a union concrete finisher and the father of a 15-year-old daughter.