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Man’s body found in water in southeast Wichita

Police at the scene where a man’s body was found Friday were telling residents and children walking home from nearby Colvin Elementary School to find other routes past the bridge.
Police at the scene where a man’s body was found Friday were telling residents and children walking home from nearby Colvin Elementary School to find other routes past the bridge. The Wichita Eagle

Police officers blocked access to a bridge in the 2800 block of South Roosevelt on Friday afternoon after a passerby spotted a man’s body in the water below.

Wichita police Lt. Walker Andrews said an initial look suggested the man was in his 20s but it was not immediately clear whether the body bore signs of trauma. Authorities at the scene included several Wichita police officers and homicide investigators, he said.

Andrews said he expected more details would be released after the coroner’s office arrived, but two hours later police left the scene without giving any updates.

A Sedgwick County dispatcher said police expect to release more information Saturday.

Andrews said the passerby was walking across a bridge arching over a drainage overflow ditch about 3 p.m. and noticed the body lying on rocks in shallow water below. The bridge is to the east of Roosevelt, north of Ross Parkway in the Planeview neighborhood.

The person called 911, Andrews said, and police officers and fire crews who arrived on scene minutes later confirmed the man was dead.

Andrews said a preliminary investigation suggested the body had been in the water for maybe a day. The identity of the body was unknown as of 4 p.m., he said.

“It doesn’t appear that this is a homeless person,” Andrews said. “… It looks like either something bad happened, or it could have been an accident or self-inflicted. At this point we don’t know. It’s very early in this investigation.”

Police at the scene were telling residents and children walking home from nearby Colvin Elementary School to find other routes past the bridge for about 21/2 hours. People on walking paths flanking the ditch also were ordered away when they neared.

Beneath the bridge where the body was found, chunks of concrete and large rocks were scattered in the water but there were no apparent signs of blood after police cleared the scene at around 5:30 p.m. Trash, broken glass and charred wood litters the area, and some of the bridge’s supports are tagged with graffiti.

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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