Body found in Kanawha River identified

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 4:08 PM EDT
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A body found early this month in the Kanawha River has been identified as a man reported missing last November, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

Kevin Erwin, 45, was reported missing and entered into a national missing persons database on Nov. 30, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

He had last been seen Nov. 26 at the Rodeway Inn in Cross Lanes.

“We’ve spoken with family members. There are some tattoos that are on the deceased body, that we’re matching that person,” Capt. Andrew Gordon with the South Charleston Police Department said Wednesday.

Erwin’s body was found March 5 near a dock in the 1800 block of Kanawha Avenue in South Charleston.

Tim Bush said his neighbor notified law enforcement and had never seen anything like the chaos unfolding near his home.

“A lot of emergency vehicles, a lot of emergency people showed up all at once,” Bush recalled Wednesday. “We really didn’t know what was going on until one of the police officers told us to keep the kids back.”

Gordon said quick action like the bystander’s was an essential part in figuring out the next part of the investigation.

“It’s very important, my understanding of, in this specific case, this individual was pretty positive that it was a body they got close enough to it to see that, oftentimes, we have other cases where it looks like it could be a body but might not be and you know, sometimes people call in and it’s not, you know, it’s something completely different,” he said. “If you don’t take the time to make that phone call and pass that on, you know, it could damage potential evidence, and, you know, make it really harder to locate this person and recover this person later on.”

Deputies say the investigation into Erwin’s death will be handled by the South Charleston Police Department.

For original coverage:

Body found in Kanawha River