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Body of missing Pierre man recovered from Missouri River

A Pierre rescue boat searches for a man presumed to have drowned in the Missouri River Saturday. (Photo Courtesy Nick Linneman)
A Pierre rescue boat searches for a man presumed to have drowned in the Missouri River Saturday. (Photo Courtesy Nick Linneman)(NICK LINNEMAN | KOTA)
Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 1:33 PM MDT
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FORT PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN) - The body of Hughes County Chief Deputy Sheriff Lee Weber was found Thursday afternoon on the Fort Pierre side of the Missouri River, between the railroad and car bridges.

Weber’s body was found around 4 p.m. Thursday by volunteers who were helping with the search. A procession of law enforcement vehicles escorted Weber’s body to the funeral home.

“This is a very sad moment, but we also are very relieved that Lee’s body was found,” said Hughes County Sheriff Darin Johnson. “It is important that the family and his friends have closure. Lee deserves this tribute.”

Weber, 37, jumped into the river on Friday, July 3, to save his 8-year-old son who had fallen from a boat. The child was saved by a nearby boat. Weber, who was not wearing a life jacket, was swept away by the river’s current..

The search was conducted each day starting Friday afternoon.

Funeral services are pending.

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After discussions with his family, officials plan to reduce the size of the search efforts for a missing Pierre man who is presumed to have drowned Friday afternoon on the Missouri River south of the Oahe Dam.

Lee Weber, 37, jumped into the river to save his eight-year-old son who had fallen from a moving boat. The child was saved by a nearby boat. Mr. Weber, who was not wearing a life jacket, was swept away by the river’s current. The incident happened at 2:51 p.m. Friday, two miles northwest of Fort Pierre. Mr. Weber was the Hughes County Chief Deputy Sheriff.

The search has been on-going daily since Friday afternoon. Wednesday’s effort included an estimated 22 boats, around 50 participants and the use of drones and the state Highway Patrol airplane. The search area went from Diver’s Point south to Antelope Creek, a total of 15 miles.

Following Wednesday’s search, officials decided to reduce the search to the use of Pierre Rescue boats and drones when available. One drone is from the Hughes/Stanley County Emergency Management and the other is from the Pierre Police Department.

Citizens are asked to remain alert for possible sightings of Mr. Weber while on the river or along shorelines. Please call Pierre Police Dispatch at 605-773-4710.

The Stanley County Sheriff’s Office thanks all of the agencies and volunteers who have helped with the search. Respect for the privacy of the family is also requested at this time.

Copyright 2020 KEVN. All rights reserved.

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