Rescuers search for body near Belle Isle bridge

James David Dickson
The Detroit News
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File: The Belle Isle bridge is seen over the Detroit River with Detroit skyline in background.
Authorities are looking for the body of person believed to have jumped from the MacArthur Bridge to Belle Isle Nov. 20, 2018.

Detroit — Authorities are looking for the body of a person believed to have parked a vehicle on the MacArthur Bridge to Belle Isle and jumped or fell into the Detroit River. 

Lt. Mike Shaw, a spokesman and commander for the Michigan State Police in Metro Detroit, said state police received a 911 call at 6:10 a.m. regarding a Ford Escape on the bridge, with no one inside and footprints leading to the rail of the bridge. 

Police responded and requested the assistance of the U.S. Coast Guard. 

Lt. Junior Grade Justin Bommer, a spokesman for the Coast Guard, said the recovery effort began "immediately" after assistance was requested. A helicopter from Air Station Detroit, which carried along a rescue swimmer, was deployed to the area.

Just before 7 a.m., a Detroit Fire Department boat spotted a  body that was "motionless, facing down," Bommer said.

Deputy commissioner Dave Fornell said that because the department's boat isn't suited for rescues, as it sits too high off the water, it called the Coast Guard. This was near Milliken State Park and the Renaissance Center. 

"It's all hands on deck," Fornell said.

But by the time the Coast Guard arrived, the body sank again. The police department's dive team continued the search Tuesday, said police spokesman Dontae Freeman. 

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