Man IDed in Mississippi River death

Published 12:08 am Wednesday, May 20, 2015

GARYVILLE — The man who was pulled from the Mississippi River Thursday night after allegedly falling from a vessel has been identified.

St. John the Baptist Parish Coroner Dr. Christy Montegut released the name of Jeffrey Duke, 31, of Springfield Monday.

A preliminary report indicates drowning as the cause of his death, a coroner’s employee said, adding a full report and toxicology analysis may take up to eight weeks.

St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office officials reported the United States Coast Guard is in charge of the investigation. As of Tuesday morning, public affairs officials with the U.S. Coast Guard Eighth District said they had no information to share on the case.

Officials are not releasing the name of vessel involved or how man people were onboard at the time of the death.

Sheriff Mike Tregre said Monday the Sheriff’s Office handled the initial investigation, adding it appears to be an accident and there “doesn’t appear to be foul play.”

Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a docking area on the Mississippi River in Garyville at 8:54 p.m. Thursday after a man fell from a vessel in the river.

Crewmembers of a river vessel rescued the unconscious man and began CPR until EMS arrived, Tregre said, adding efforts by EMS to revive the man were not successful.

The coroner pronounced Duke dead on the scene.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the supervisor of the deceased told deputies he heard the “man overboard” siren activated when crewmembers from another vessel saw the subject in the river.

The supervisor said no one on his vessel witnessed the man fall in the water.