Missing Chicago man at Starved Rock found dead in Illinois River

Man found Tuesday near Utica bridge

River rescue crews responded to the Starved Rock State Park boat launch Sunday, June 12, 2022, on the Illinois River.

The 21-year-old Chicago man who went underwater in the Illinois River at Starved Rock State Park was found dead Tuesday on the south shore about 200 yards west of the Route 178 bridge in Utica.

Giovannie E. Sanchez was recovered at about 1 p.m. Tuesday by Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police. A forensic investigative autopsy was conducted Wednesday with results pending. The La Salle County Coroner’s Office and Conservation Police are investigating the incident.

The Utica Fire Protection District was dispatched to the Starved Rock State Park boat launch at 1:16 p.m. Sunday. Mutual Aid was requested from MABAS Division 25 Water Team, Oglesby Water Rescue, Peru and Ottawa River Rescue, Division 15 Water Rescue/Dive Team and Division 41 Dive Team and the Christian Aid Ministries Search and Rescue Team. Teams searched until dark Sunday and the search was called off because of safety concerns. The search resumed Monday, but was called off in the afternoon after the area was throughly searched and because of the extreme weather conditions.

Illinois Conservation Police, as well as Ottawa and Peru river rescue teams continued surface operations.