Fisherman who found torso in White River hopes family will have closure

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Indianapolis (April 18, 2016) - A fisherman who discovered a man’s torso in the White River Sunday morning says he hopes police investigators will be able to solve the case and provide closure for the man’s family.

The fisherman, who did not want to be identified, says he and a friend were fishing from a small boat on the White River near New York Street Sunday morning. They spotted something unusual caught in debris on the west side bank, and moments later, the gruesome reality of their discovery set in.

“My friend said, hey I think that’s a body,” the fisherman said. “I never expected to go down to the White River fishing to find a body. You hear stories about it, but you never think that you’re going to be the person to do that.”

The fisherman said the head and arms appeared to be cleanly severed from the torso, and the legs were cut off below the knees.

“It was a male and it looked like it had been shot three times in the upper chest,” the fisherman said.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police have not confirmed any gunshot wounds to the body.

“At this point, the autopsy has not been conducted, but preliminarily that the limbs were removed by someone,” said IMPD Sgt. Catherine Cummings. “This does not appear to be the result of damage by fish.”

The fisherman says he was also told by an officer at the scene that the body appears to have been in the water for a couple days. IMPD is awaiting results of an autopsy before commenting on how long the body was in the water.

As of Monday afternoon, detectives believe the torso was that of a light-skinned black male. A distinctive tattoo on the man’s back said “Only God can judge me.” Detectives are currently reviewing recent missing persons cases for information that matches the circumstances.

“They’re entered into a database that can be accessed across the country,” Cummings said. “And they can put details in there such as tattoos or markings or piercings.”

The fisherman says he will continue recreational fishing on the White River, but he can’t help but think of those who are still wondering about missing loved ones.

“You know, somebody’s looking for this person,” he said. “Somebody’s thinking where’s this person at, or something. Not dead in the White River.”

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