Preliminary autopsy reveals missing Illinois man died from drowning

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DOWNS, Ill. (WCIA/WMBD)– Preliminary autopsy findings prove the missing man from Downs likely died from drowning.

The McLean County Coroner’s Office announced Sunday there was no evidence of an altercation or assault, but a toxicology report is still pending.

The community spent a week searching for a missing man. His body was found in a private pond. 31 year old Tyler Graf was last seen in Downs. Now investigators are looking into what may have led to his death. Graf was reported missing on Saturday, April 11th. Family members say he was last seen walking along a creek near his house.

Missing Persons Awareness Network NFP was contacted to help. Gia Wright is with the organization and said what she discovered. “They were just going from one friend’s house to another, so there’s paths. It’s a long wooded area, but they knew the area well, so there shouldn’t have been this disappearance which is just what makes it more tragic and harder,” said Wright.

Authorities looked all over for him with the help of family, friends, and neighbors. Even people who never met him volunteered to look.

A Facebook group with over 3,000 followers was created. They hoped to find him alive. Graf’s body was found in a pond nearby. He was found just one week after being reported missing. “There’s so many people that have been found in water,” said Wright, “Probably the majority of the time they weren’t last seen at the water.”

As the investigation continues, there are still many questions from loved ones about how Graf could have ended up in the pond and whether the family will ever know the details surrounding his disappearance.

“The family will definitely have answers. It will probably never give them closure, but it might give them some peace that he’s home and it might give them some understanding as to what could have happened,” said Wright. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that Graf died from drowning. There was no evidence of an altercation or assault and toxicology results are pending.

Saturday, hours before Graf’s body was found in a pond, community and family members searched for him. His death is being investigated by McLean County Coroner’s Office and the McLean County Sherriff’s Department.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

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