The coroner’s office said an autopsy showed that Thomas Howe, who was missing for almost a month, had signs of drowning after his body was found in the Des Plaines River near Libertyville.
Howe, 24, of Antioch, was reported missing to the Antioch Police Department on January 22.
His body was recovered shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday from the Des Plaines River near Libertyville, according to Antioch Communication Specialist Jim Moran.
A preliminary autopsy performed by the Lake County Coroner’s Office Wednesday morning indicated that Howe had signs consistent with drowning.
Further testing will take place throughout the coming weeks, the coroner’s office said. The cause and manner of death have not been ruled.
Lake County Chief Deputy Coroner Stephen Newton said no signs of foul play were found during the autopsy.
On Friday, a kayaker on the Des Plaines River between Route 60 and Rockland Road spotted a jacket along the shoreline that matched the description of Howe’s gray North Face jacket.
The kayaker called police and teams consisting of multiple police canines and fire department divers conducted initial searches of the river on Friday and Saturday, Moran said.
Due to unfavorable river conditions, divers paused the search and resumed Tuesday afternoon, at which time they located Howe’s body.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Lake County Coroner’s Office are conducting an investigation into his death.
Howe was reported missing following a crash on Interstate 94 at mile marker 16.75.
He left the scene on foot towards the Old School Forest Preserve near Libertyville, witnesses reported.
On January 24, search teams located Howe’s work cell phone in the forest preserve but found no other signs of the man.
Antioch Police Commander Charles Smith said during a press conference on Friday that over 200 leads had been received, including possible sightings.
Smith said investigators found no indication of trauma in Howe’s vehicle following the crash.
However, he said it cannot be ruled out that Howe suffered trauma during the collision.
“We have been with the Howe family throughout their search for Tommy,” Antioch Police Chief Geoff Guttschow said.
“This is a devastating time for them. The family will continue to be in our prayers,” Guttschow added.