Missing East Chicago man found dead in Grand Calumet River

2013-06-02T22:03:00Z 2013-06-03T23:14:03Z Missing East Chicago man found dead in Grand Calumet RiverElvia Malagon elvia.malagon@nwi.com, (219) 933-3246 nwitimes.com

EAST CHICAGO | A 41-year-old man was found dead Sunday in a canal near the 5500 block of Indianapolis Boulevard, police said.

Javier Pena, of East Chicago, was identified late Sunday as the person found in the canal, said East Chicago Police Chief Mark Becker. Family members had reported Pena missing last week.

The family identified Pena late Sunday. Becker said the manner and cause of death was pending an autopsy.

Police received a call at 5:48 p.m. that someone had spotted a body in the Grand Calumet River canal, Becker said. The Lake County Sheriff's Department dive team was called to retrieve the body. 

Indiana Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Terri Arlandson said the man could have possibly drowned in the Grand Calumet River. 

The canal is just north of the East Chicago station of the South Shore Line. Police and a van from the Lake County coroner's office were parked Sunday evening along Indianapolis Boulevard.

Vehicles driving through the busy intersection slowed down and some stopped to talk to officers. A family of three walking a dog watched as coroner's office workers placed the man in their van.

Police left the scene by 8:30 p.m.

Becker said police had turned the investigation over to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

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