Body of missing father recovered in Ohio
GOLCONDA, IL- Most of the boats that had combed the Ohio River since Tuesday were just hitting the water Thursday morning when Pope County Sheriff Jerry Suits got a phone call.
A tow boat operator had noticed what appeared to be a body, around 6:30 that morning, before notifying authorities.
"It was a relief for me to be honest with you, it was a relief for that family," Sheriff Suits later admitted.
Casey Chavez, 42, disappeared Tuesday, just after 2 p.m. in the Ohio River between Golconda, Illinois, and Berry's Ferry in Livingston County, Kentucky. Family members say Chavez, the father of 5, was spending the day fishing and swimming with two of his kids, ages 9 and 18.
Chavez was a contractor by trade who loved motorcycles and his family. In fact, Sheriff Suits said, he was trying to protect that family Tuesday when tragedy struck.
Chavez's daughter, just 9 years old, was struggling in the current when he jumped in.
"He got concerned. He loved his kids. He jumped in and at that point she said he thought he'd had a seizure. She'd seen him have a seizure before, he had a history of that," Suits said of Chavez's young daughter.
It was not only a selfless act, the sheriff said, but what turned out to be his final act, "A pretty honorable thing to do. His last act was taking care of his kids and that's pretty good."
Chavez's sister, Yolanda Solano, said Thursday her family was grateful for the crews and volunteers. She called her brother a good husband and father and said she felt blessed to live in a community like Golconda.
Family tells Local 6 funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.