Body found in Missouri River was that of a 24-year-old St. Joseph man

James A. Ford

(St. Joseph News-Press) – Officials have identified the man whose body was found in the Missouri River last week.

James A. Ford, 24, of St. Joseph, went missing in the river after going swimming with a woman early Wednesday morning, the St. Joseph Police Department said. 

Water rescue workers from multiple law enforcement agencies searched the river Wednesday, but the effort was called off for a time because thunderstorms created a dangerous situation for rescue boats on the water. The woman had told police the man never made it back to the surface after they had gone swimming.

His body was located Thursday morning in the Missouri River near Atchison, Kansas. 

Kayakers noticed the body in the river near mile marker 430 approximately 10 miles north of the Atchison boat ramp. They contacted law enforcement around 10 a.m. Thursday to report their discovery.

A preliminary autopsy report listed the cause of death as drowning.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported 36 fatal drowning or boating accidents this year in the state. Most of those were in the southern part of Missouri