UPDATED: Police Chief Says There Was No Obvious Sign of Trauma Found on Body in Salt Creek
But, he said it was too soon to speculate; positive identification is still pending.
UPDATED 4:26 p.m. Monday:
Following is an update from Elmhurst Police Chief Michael Ruth on the body discovered in Salt Creek Monday.
"The call initially came in at about 1:20 p.m. today of a possible body or person unconscious behind Diplomat West in the creek. Officers discovered the body of a 45-year-old male partially in the creek, kind of hung up on some brush.
"With the assistance of the Elmhurst Fire Department, the body was removed from the water and was transported to the DuPage County Coroner's Office for identification, cause and manner of death.
"They haven't identified the person at this point. The cororner wants to make sure there is a positive identification with fingerprints. There appeared to be no outward signs of trauma at this time."
Ruth said they did not find a cell phone on the body. It was learned that his cell phone pinged off of a cell tower in Addison early Saturday morning, which poses additional questions for investigators.
"We don't know if the victim fell into Salt Creek at that location (behind Diplomat West) or at a different location and traveled downward," Ruth said. "It's premature for us to speculate at this point. It remains under investigation."
Ruth said he doesn't expect a formal identification until perhaps Tuesday.
"They want to be absolutely certain they've properly identified the right person," he said. "Again, there were no outward signs of trauma at this point, but it will be up to the coroner to determine cause and manner of death."
3:45 p.m. Monday:
About a dozen friends and family members of Russell Winkler waited in frigid temperatures in the Diplomat West parking lot, 681 W. North Ave., on Monday afternoon to hear any new information about a body that was discovered in Salt Creek.
The body was discovered by a member of the search crew, which was made up of dozens of Winkler's friends. They have been searching for him since he disappeared on Friday night.
Elmhurst police Sgt. Len Kolpak said no new information would be available until an investigation is completed by the coroner, who arrived at the scene at a little before 3 p.m.
"We're going to be talking to the victims now," Kolpak said. "We have to do our initial investigation. We can't assume anything."
Winkler was last seen at Mack's Golden Pheasant around closing time on Friday night. Friends have said a cab was called to take him home, but he began walking instead.
Friends of Winkler's, Julie and James Erickson, said they were part of the search crew that was out looking for Winkler Monday morning. An earlier report that Winkler's cell phone pinged off a tower in Addison had many of the searchers looking north and west of the site where the body was found.
"That's what threw everybody off," said Erickson, who also is an Elmhurst firefighter. "We figured he got picked up by somebody (and ended up in Addison)."
It was not immediately known if the victim found at the creek had a cell phone on him.
Julie Erickson said Winkler was wearing dress shoes Friday night when he was out at Mack's Golden Pheasant, and she speculated that if the victim was Winkler, he may have slipped on some rocks near the creek. But this information has not been confirmed by Elmhurst police.
"You never know," said James Erickson, adding he got a "glimpse of the body" when it was discovered. "He might have gotten mugged and thrown into the creek."
He said very little information would be available any time soon.
"They're going to be out here for awhile," he said of police officials. "They're going to pull him out and take him over to the hospital."
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.