Police Identify Man Found Dead Near River

Wheeling police have identified the man they found dead Monday evening along the banks of the Ohio River on Wheeling Island as Charles Edward McConnell.

According to Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger, McConnell was living at a residence on Main Street in Wheeling at the time of his death. The 59-year-old appeared to have died from natural causes, Schwertfeger said. The West Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office does not release causes of death.

Responders from the Wheeling police and fire departments found McConnell’s body along the bank of the back channel of the river near the Bridgeport Bridge. Schwertfeger said it is unknown what McConnell may have been doing in the area.

Authorities finally made contact with McConnell’s brother, who is living in the Parkersburg, W.Va., area, sometime Wednesday afternoon. McConnell’s body remained in the custody of the medical examiner’s office Wednesday evening pending its release to his family.

Employees of a business on South Wabash Street contacted authorities after spotting McConnell, who was unresponsive, around 6:30 p.m. Monday. According to police, it was apparent to officers that McConnell was deceased when they arrived on the scene.