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Police: Body found in pond near church that of man reported missing

A 32-year-old Wichita man’s body was discovered floating face-down in one of Central Community Church’s drainage ponds Saturday evening, authorities said.

Wichita police Sgt. Jim Merrick said drivers passing by the church on Maple Street spotted the body in the water at 7:35 p.m. and called 911.

Wichita fire crews arrived and retrieved the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene, Merrick said. It appeared the man had been in the water “for some time,” he said. The body showed no obvious signs of trauma, Merrick said, but added that it’s too early to determine how he died or to rule out foul play.

Merrick said the man’s family reported him missing Friday after he reportedly went unseen for a few days. His name was not released.

The pond is in front of the church, 6100 W. Maple, west of the Wichita-Valley Center Floodway. An hour after the discovery, the man lay in the grass, covered by a bright blue tarp while officers inspected the west shoreline. By 9:30 p.m., a coroner had removed the body.

More details are expected Monday from police, Merrick said.

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