Donnellson man dies in river accident near Sandusky

SANDUSKY – The 4th of July holiday turned tragic for a Lee County man Saturday, when his body was discovered in the waters of the Mississippi River Saturday evening.

According to a report from Lee County Sheriff Stacy Weberr, Devyn Michael Broeker, age 24 of Donnellson, Iowa, was recovered by emergency divers in the area of Sandusky.

Mr. Broeker was last seen by witnesses as he was riding seated on a pull-behind flotation device on the Mississippi River near the Sandusky sand bar near the 3400 Block River Road at about 5:45 p.m. when a call was made for help.

State Department of Natural Resources officers were called to the area, along with deputies of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team after DNR officers located a suspected body using side scanning sonar.

With the assistance of the Fort Madison Fire & Rescue, Keokuk Fire & Rescue, and the Keokuk Volunteer Emergency Corps, a search was successful in the discovery and recovery of Mr. Broeker’s body.

Mr. Broeker was transported to the dock nearby where Lee County Medical Investigator Bill Young assisted. Mr. Broeker was transported to the Keokuk Area Hospital Morgue where he will stay until transported to Ankeny for an autopsy to be performed by the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office at a later date. According to Iowa law, all drowning victims are subject to an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

The cause of death is pending. No foul play is suspected at this time.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in the search and recovery by DNR Officers Ben Schlader, Paul Kay, Firefighters JW Guy and James Burton of the Keokuk Fire Department, Chief Dan Tillman and all the volunteers of the Keokuk Emergency Corps, and Henry County Sheriff Rich McNamee was also involved by delivering the death notification to family members in Henry County.

“I would like to publicly thank Jail Administrator John Canida for his assistance and use of his own boat to take Divers Sgt. Clint Wray, Sgt. Matt Van Berkum and myself to the scene wherein Mr. Broeker was recovered in less than five minutes, assuring the family didn’t have to suffer through an extended period of time of uncertainty about their loved one being lost. The cooperative efforts of all involved are simply extraordinary and appreciated,” Weber wrote in a release Sunday morning.

“Finally, we also would like to offer our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Broeker and want them all to know that he was treated with the utmost dignity by all those involved with his recovery.”

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