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Clay Township — A body believed to be a missing swimmer has been found in the St. Clair River, the St. Clair County Sheriff's Office said.

 The body was found Thursday morning, according to authorities.

A relative of the missing swimmer, Riley Gleason, 21, of East China Township, called police at about 7:45 a.m. Thursday and told them he had rented a plane, flew over the river and spotted his body off Russell Island.

Rescue workers took a boat to the area and located the body, Sheriff Tim Donnellon said in a statement. The body was taken to shore and sent to a hospital.

Police said the St. Clair County Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy and identify the body.

Authorities had been searching for Gleason since he was reported missing shortly before 9 p.m. Friday.

MoreDeputies search for missing man in St. Clair River

Gleason was on a boat on the river behind the St. Clair Inn, officials said, when he jumped into the water and immediately called for help.

One of his friends, Carter Simons, 21, of China Township, told sheriff's deputies he threw Gleason a rope and a flotation device, according to police. Simons jumped into the water and was able to grab on to Gleason momentarily, but Gleason slipped from Simon's grasp and submerged.

Authorities looked for Gleason until after 11 p.m. but called off the search for the night. Divers returned to the area Saturday morning and searched for Gleason for nine hours. Rescue workers searched for more than 12 hours on Sunday, but were not able to recover his body, officials said.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez

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