Drowning Likely the Cause of Russell Winkler's Death

Coroner has not yet released toxicology report.

The DuPage County Coroner's Office has released some information on what likely caused the death of Russell Winkler Dec. 22.

Winkler's body was found on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, along the bank of Salt Creek behind Diplomat West Banquet Hall, just west of Route 83 at North Avenue. Winkler went missing in the early morning hours Saturday, Dec. 22, after he was last seen by friends walking from Mack's Golden Pheasant, 668 W. North Ave., at closing time.

According to Elmhurst Police Chief Michael Ruth, the coroner reported Winkler drowned.

"The investigators believe that he may have tried to cross the creek and fell into the water, ingesting water into his lungs," Ruth said Jan. 2.

Police previously said there was no sign of trauma visible when the body was found. The formal toxicology report has not yet been released, Ruth said.

"The toxicology report is expected to take several weeks," he said.

Winkler, a former Elmhurst resident and a 1986 York graduate,

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Melissa D January 03, 2013 at 07:52 PM
And only simpletons think that they can make a blanket statement like "there is no "good" reason that bars..." Really? What about second shifters who want to relax with a beer before going home? People don't just go to bars to drink. It's easy to drink at home. It's more enjoyable to enjoy the company of others. Otherwise why would bars even exist? We don't know his BAC and we don't know if he was drunk. You can drink and not get drunk. Only simpletons think otherwise. Based on your last line, it sounds like you are using this tragedy to push a political agenda. How disgusting.
Vincent Russell January 04, 2013 at 06:35 AM
Melissa, Bars exist to serve alcohol and make a profit. They more they sell, the more they make. The only reason they might care about their patrons well-being is to get them back to the barstool the next day. Period. Regarding whether Mr. Winkler was intoxicated, we have to wait for the toxicology report. But don't be naive. A 2am crossing of the Salt Creek in 25 degree weather might give you a hint. You are going to see a lawsuit, folks. Bar, bartender, and taxi company.
Jane Doe January 04, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Please closing bats at 11pm this could of happen at 2 in the afternoon. It does not matter what time the bars close.
Bunky January 05, 2013 at 04:29 AM
Can we please use this to pray for his family and not pass judgment or try placing blame. I'm sure those of you who have said such have lived such a perfect life and NEVER done anything wrong. God bless his family. May they find some kind of peace through all of this.
Big Daddy January 06, 2013 at 03:03 AM
Mr. Russell, you sir are using this poor mans death to push your idea of how things should be and thus ought to be ashamed of yourself but you won't and that's ok because we live in a free country where if you wanna drink after 11pm you can and should be able to this poor fella was 100% responsible for his own actions and he paid the consequences noone put a gun to his head and forced him to do anything nor is a bartender his keeper or responsible for him in any way it is a sad unfortunate occurance made worse by ignorant statements like yours shame on you!


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