Body Found in West Branch DuPage River Identified as Missing Woman

News Release


Body Found in West Branch DuPage River Identified as Missing West Chicago Woman

Autopsy confirms identity

(May 28, 2020) — An autopsy Thursday confirmed the body found in the West Branch DuPage River at Blackwell Forest Preserve on Wednesday is that of an 18-year-old West Chicago woman who was swept away by the flooded river on May 15.

The preliminary cause of death was drowning, according to DuPage County coroner Dr. Richard Jorgensen.

Anna DeJong was walking her two dogs at Winfield Mounds Forest Preserve in Winfield when she was swept away by the flooded river as she walked through waist-high water on a pedestrian bridge.
 
Searchers rescued one dog on May 15; the second dog's remains were recovered on May 21 in the river at Winfield Mounds.

More than 100 search-and-rescue personnel and volunteers scoured the West Branch DuPage River from Winfield to Warrenville May 15 and 16 in search of the woman, using boats equipped with sonar and infrared-equipped underwater drones.

On May 27 two Forest Preserve police officers searching the waterway in a kayak found DeJong’s body in the river just south of Mack Road in West Chicago, about 5.5 miles downriver from Winfield Mounds. West Chicago and Warrenville fire departments assisted with the recovery.

“On behalf of the Forest Preserve District, I would like to send our sincere condolences to her family and friends,” said Forest Preserve District Police Chief David Pederson. “All of us are truly saddened by today’s news, and our appreciation goes to all of the first responders and volunteers who worked so tirelessly to find her.”

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