Public Safety

Johnson County authorities searching for body of potential jumper in Iowa River

Members of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department search the Iowa River after a report of someone possibly jumping off a nearby bridge. (Lee Hermiston / The Gazette)
Members of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department search the Iowa River after a report of someone possibly jumping off a nearby bridge. (Lee Hermiston / The Gazette)
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IOWA CITY — Authorities are searching for the body of a potential jumper in the Iowa River.

Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek said the University of Iowa Department of Public Safety has reason to believe someone jumped off the bridge and has asked for assistance.

The sheriff’s office is dragging the river near the Iowa Avenue Bridge. The Johnson County Metro Dive Team, Iowa City Fire Department and Johnson County Emergency Management also are assisting with the search.

Though he described the ongoing effort as a recovery operation rather than a rescue, Pulkrabek said authorities are not yet certain someone actually jumped into the river.

Pulkrabek said the university contacted him around 10:30 a.m. Thursday. Authorities are searching immediately north and south of the Iowa Avenue Bridge.

Hayley Bruce, a university spokeswoman, said that this morning the UI Police Department “located evidence which strongly suggests that someone may have entered the river from the Iowa Avenue bridge.” This led them to contact the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department for assistance.

Comments: (319) 339-3155; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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