NORWICH – The Chenango County Sheriff’s Office pulled an unidentified body from the Chenango River Friday afternoon, about a hundred yards down stream from the bridge on County Route 320, just behind the North Plaza shopping center in the Town of Norwich.
Sheriff Thomas Loughren held a brief press conference at the scene, saying that the department was treating the incident as a homicide until they could “rule out any foul play.”
“The call originated early this morning when a passing sheriff’s patrol looked down the river while crossing the bridge. They noticed an usual object and walked down to the river to investigate. The officer actually waded part way into the water and discovered the body,” said Loughren.
An eye witness at the scene, Ron Pickerell of South Plymouth, said he saw the body in the river.
“It was maybe a 100 yards down from the bridge and it was very bloated, like it’d been there a long time ... like a giant stone in the middle of the water,” he said.
The body was removed from the river at approximately 1:45 p.m. and was taken to Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, where the medical examiner is expected to perform an autopsy Saturday morning.
The Sheriff said the body was distorted because of the time it spent in the water, making it difficult to identify. Police discovered no identification on the body. Loughren did say “it appears to be an older white male.”
The Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the incident and Loughren said officers were already working on a few leads.
The Norwich City Police Department was also responded to the scene and is currently assisting in the investigation.