Possible Drowning – Missing Individual

DATE AND TIME OF INCIDENT:  June 19, 2020 at 19:15hrs TYPE OF INCIDENT:  Possible Drowning – Missing Individual     
 
LOCATION OF INCIDENT:     Saint Joseph River. Township of Royalton   
 
AGENCIES INVOLVED:     #1: Berrien County Sheriff’s Office  #2: Royalton Township Fire Department  #3: Berrien Springs Oronoko Township Fire Department.  #4: State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources.   
 
NARRATIVE: On June 19, 2020 at approximately 19:15hrs, the Berrien County Dispatch Center received a 911 call of an individual in distress and missing in the Saint Joseph River approximately one mile down river from the Jasper Dairy boat launch.  The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit, the State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Royalton Township Fire Department, and the Berrien Springs Oronoko Township Fire Department sent personnel and/or boats to search the river for the individual.  
 
The initial investigation reveals that two adults and three juveniles were enjoying a summer day on a pontoon boat and were swimming in the water, when one of the juveniles began to struggle in the water. One of the adults jumped into the water and 
 
 
 
suc
cessfully rescued the juvenile, however the adult went under water and was not located.  
 
The missing individual is a 45 year male Berrien County resident.  
 
The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, the State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Royalton Township Fire Department, and the Berrien Springs Oronoko Township Fire Department are currently continuing a search for this missing individual and they are also being assisted by personnel and equipment from the Great Lakes Drone Company.  
 
Updates will be provided by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office when additional information is obtained.  
 
UPDATE June 21, 2020.  
 
On Sunday June 21, 2020 at 08:47hrs, a body was recovered from the Saint Joseph River by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit.  It’s believed to be the body of the 45 year old male, who was reported missing on June 19, 2020.  
 
The body was recovered from the Saint Joseph River approximately ½ mile down river from the location, where the 45 year old male was last seen on June 19th.  An autopsy will be performed at the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker School of Medicine.  
 
The name of the individual is being withheld until positive identification is made and his next of kin are notified.  
 
The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office appreciates all the support and cooperation provided by the Royalton Township Fire Department, the Berrien Springs Oronoko Township Fire Department, the State of Michigan Department of Resources, the Great Lakes Drone Company, the Great Lake Search and Recovery Company, and the  
 
 
Medical Examiner Investigator from the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker School of Medicine.   
 
The search and recovery mission was completed, due to the cooperation of all governmental and private corporations that worked as a team.  
 
 
UPDATE: June 24, 2020.  
 
The victim in this tragic accident is identified as Matthew Kihlstrand, Male, Age 45, resident of the Village of Baroda.  
 
Upon completion of the autopsy at the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker School of Medicine, the cause of death was ruled an accidental drowning  
 
The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office and all the first responders express our condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones.  
 



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