UWSP Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Al Thompson sent out the following letter to students and staff about the death of Eric Thompson.More >>
STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -
The body of a missing UWSP student has been pulled from the Wisconsin River.
Eric Duffey, 21, disappeared after leaving a bar in downtown Stevens Point early Saturday morning. He had been out celebrating his birthday.
His body was found in the river Monday afternoon. Just hours after his body was found, Duffey's parents spoke out.
"He was our everything," said Daren Duffey, Eric's father. "Our son was a lovely person who loved the outdoors and nature."
On Monday, a dive team pulled Duffey's body from the Wisconsin River next to the Clark Street bridge. They found his body just after 1:00 p.m. Duffey's family was notified minutes later.
At a news conference Monday afternoon, the family thanked the community for their support.
"He was a loving, compassionate boy who will be truly missed," said Daren Duffey. "We want to thank everyone that was involved and took their time, to help us with this difficult time."
Authorities say they do not suspect foul play, but they'll continue to investigate.
"We were hopeful to have a good conclusion to this missing person, but unfortunately it worked out this way," said Brian Kudronowicz, Stevens Point Police assistant chief. "Everybody is feeling the pain."
UW-Stevens Point officials notified the campus Monday afternoon.
"Any student, faculty, staff who needs assistance, we've sent out an email encouraging them to contact the Student Affairs office or counseling services, so that we can get people the help the support that they need," said Kate Worster of UWSP public relations.
School officials say they're requesting privacy for students and faculty so they can all grieve in their own way.
Meantime, investigators say they don't know why Duffey walked toward the river. They say alcohol might have been a factor.