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March 21, 2019 11:54 pm

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Body Of Missing Grand Rapids Man Found In Kalamazoo River In Saugatuck

Allegan County Deputies found the body of missing Grand Rapids resident Justin Brown this past Monday in the Kalamazoo River near where he was last seen, Allegan County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Brett Ensfield reported at Monday’s Saugatuck City Council meeting.

Brown, 39, was reported missing Oct. 13. Surveillance video last showed him walking on the boardwalk outside of Coral Gables, where he gathered with friends, around 1:15 a.m. Oct. 13.

Allegan County Deputy Rob Flokstra, one of four officers dedicated to serving the City of Saugatuck, saw part of the victim’s body underwater around 7 a.m. while he was monitoring the area.

Ensfield reported that at this point, there is no suspicion of foul play,

However, he is not ruling out alcohol as playing a role in the incident. A toxicity lab examination may render some clues about that, Ensfield told The Local Observer Monday.

Family, friends and law enforcement had been searching the area since Brown’s reported disappearance. The Sheriff’s Department boat and diving teams as well as a drone team, Great Lakes Drone Company, also took to the task of finding Brown.

Saugatuck City Council commended the collaboration of the Saugatuck Township Fire District Department and the county deputies in the search endeavor.

“If you go near water, make sure people know where you are,” Ensfield told the Observer about what advice he had for the public.

Brown was staying with friends who had rented a condominium.

In other city news, Saugatuck city officials Monday approved amending the city’s temporary sign regulations—namely those signs related to opinion and political messages—so as to be in line with case law.

“You can’t regulate the number (of signs people can display), you can’t regulate the content (of what a sign says). We just wanted to be consistent with the federal and state law,” said Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier.

Under the subsection of opinion signs, for example, the following language will no longer be part of the city ordinance:

“Signs shall not contain any messages or graphics that are representative of any commercial activity, in violation of with any federal, state, or local regulation, or inappropriate for display, as determined by the Zoning Administrator.”

However, opinion signs shall be “only be placed on private property,” indicates the new language.

Body Of Missing Grand Rapids Man Found In Kalamazoo River In Saugatuck

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