Emergency responders recovered the body of an unidentified white man from the Columbia River on Friday afternoon, Sept. 21.
He appears to have been in the water for several weeks, Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin said. The man was found in what appeared to be work clothes. He was apparently wearing a purple shirt, gray pants and black boots, though Bergin noted clothing can sometimes change colors after such a long time in the water.
A number of drivers reported the body in the water near the Washington state side of the river. Law enforcement located the body just east of the bridge around 1:30 p.m. and sent a Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office boat to retrieve it. The Washington-Oregon state line, determining jurisdiction, passes about 2,000 feet south of the end of the bridge.
“We couldn’t pull him up the steep rocks so it was just safer” to make the recovery by water, Bergin said.
The Astoria Police Department, the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office, the Coast Guard, the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife responded to the scene. Clatsop County will lead the investigation into the man’s identity and how he ended up in the river.