Parents: Body Of Missing UW-Stevens Point Student Found In River

Authorities searching for a missing University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point student pulled his body from the ice-covered Wisconsin River on Monday, according to his parents.

Eric Duffey, a 21-year-old Fitchburg native and a Verona Area High School graduate, disappeared over the weekend. Police said Duffey was last seen about 1:15 a.m. Saturday leaving Joe’s Bar in Stevens Point after celebrating his 21st birthday. He was believed to be heading home.

Hundreds searched for Duffey over the weekend. Police in the Stevens Point area were using a helicopter, volunteers and dogs to search for the student.

Stevens Point police said they received a tip late Sunday that someone who was near the river heard what sounded like a call for help, coming from the water.

“The person heard some yelling going on by the river in that particular location. The person investigated it, and didn’t find anything,” said Brian Kudronowicz, assistant chief at the Stevens Point Police Department.

On Monday morning, based on that tip and the fact that K-9s picked up a scent, crews started searching the water.

“We had two separate tracks to that particular location from the downtown area,” Kudronowicz said.

Stevens Point Police Sgt. Dan Wheeler said officials pulled a body from the water around 1:10 p.m. Monday.

Duffey’s parents said they’re devastated but thanked all of those who helped in the search for their son.

“He was our everything. He was a loving, compassionate boy,” said his father, Daren Duffey. “He had a gift to make people laugh. He had an incredible sense of humor.”

Police said they don’t suspect foul play.

Police said alcohol was likely a factor, but it will take a month before they get toxicology results. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.