Police confirm body found in Chippewa River to be missing teenager

The Eau Claire Police Department released a statement confirming that the body found in the Chippewa River last Friday was Williamefipanio G. Hessel.

Hessel was a 17-year-old Eau Claire resident who went missing on April 23.

The report says t he body was found by an Xcel Energy employee a few feet from a dam on the river.

Police worked with the Medial Examiner’s Office to identify the body.

Police say they were notified at 7:28 p.m. on April 23 about a teenage male who was struggling in the river. Officers worked with the Eau Claire Fire Department to try and find Hessel, but were unsuccessful, according to the report.

After conducting interviews and looking at security footage, the police say they found out Hessel was jumping off cliffs at Mount Simon Park with three others when he swam further into the river. Emergency responders were called after he could be heard calling for help and disappeared from sight, according to the report.

The Eau Claire Area School district will have grief counselors available for students.

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