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Autopsy: Man in river drowned

91-year-old was a Marine Corps veteran

OREGON – The Oregon man whose body was found in the Rock River on Monday drowned, an autopsy confirmed Tuesday.

No foul play is suspected in the death of Elmer N. Leeds, 91, Police Chief Darin DeHaan said. Officials do not know how long his body had been in the water.

Leeds’ body was found around 8:40 a.m. by a couple fishing near Kiwanis Park. A gray “Jeep” baseball cap, a cane and a red flannel shirt were found on the bank, but no wallet, ID or vehicle was found.

Police conducted a door-to-door canvass of the neighborhood, and around 3:30 p.m. found a group of men outside an apartment building who thought the description of the body matched their neighbor.

Inside the apartment, police found a photo of Leeds.

According to his obituary from Farrell-Holland-Gale Funeral Home in Oregon:

Leeds, a World War II Marine Corps veteran, worked in maintenance at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb before he retired. He had lived in Oregon since 1972, where he was a member of Oregon VFW Post 8739 and American Legion Post 97.

He is survived by, among others, a daughter, Linda Sheridan of Stillman Valley, and a son, Larry Leeds of Aurora, Colo.

At his request, there will be no services. He will be buried in Rock Island National  Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Oregon VFW.

Go to for the complete obituary, or to post condolences.

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