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Body Found Under Fort Henry Bridge in Wheeling

Wheeling Police Department Detective Gregg Harris arrives at the Fort Henry Bridge this afternoon after the discovery of a body.

WHEELING — Police have recovered the body of a younger, white male found underneath the Fort Henry Bridge this afternoon.

Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger said the cause of his death is unclear at this time, and remains under investigation.

Wheeling resident Dave Pringle, 60, called police shortly before 2 p.m. after making the discovery on the downtown side of the bridge. He said he was riding his bike, wandered toward the river and stumbled upon the scene.

Four police cruisers, a fire truck and an ambulance responded.

“He looked like he fell asleep and died,” Pringle said. “He’s covered up in a sheet, his head leaning on his arms. It (the body) had a grayish tint.”

Schwertfeger said the scene appeared to be a homeless encampment, but added police are treating the discovery like any other situation involving a body. He said there wasn’t any apparent cause of death, nor could he say how long the body had been there.

“Detectives are on the scene, so I’m going to get out of their hair and wait for them to get in touch with me,” Schwertfeger said.

Sgt. Greg McKenzie and Detective Gregg Harris were on scene. Pringle said the body had likely been there a few days.

“I don’t know. I don’t feel great. Probably somebody I know,” Pringle said. “I didn’t want to go close to it. I mean, you think about things like that: ‘Oh, if I found a dead body, I’m going to go over there and check its pockets, see if he’s got a wallet.’ But when it really happens to you, you’re not going to do that at all.”

Schwertfeger said police will contact the West Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office, and the body will go to either Morgantown or Charleston for an autopsy.

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