Body of UW-Stevens Point student found in Wisconsin River

Police found the body of a missing UW-Stevens Point student in the Wisconsin River near the university Monday afternoon, officials said.

Eric Duffey, a Fitchburg native and 2009 graduate of Verona High School, was last seen leaving a bar at around 1:15 Saturday morning after celebrating his 21st birthday.

Police began searching the Wisconsin River Monday after UW-Stevens Point organized a search Sunday. About 150 volunteers and tracking dogs surveyed the town and did not find Duffey.

Officials removed the body at around 1:10 p.m. Monday and the coroner’s office identified Duffey shortly after.

Police say they do not suspect foul play was involved.

Zach Kleemann, Duffey’s roommate said “goofball” is the best word that could describe Duffey, who Kleemann said was “a truly amazing young man.”

“He was always trying to make others feel better,” Kleemann said in an e-mail. “I don’t know if I’ve ever met a bigger practical joker, and we had quite a few team stunts between the two of us as well.”

Duffey was an avid Brewers, Packers and Badgers fan, Kleemann said. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and canoeing. He was an active member of the Wildlife Society and planned to major in wildlife ecology.

Kleemann said members of the UW-Stevens Point community have come together to support Duffey’s family and friends.

“We had hundreds of students and civilians assisting with the search, many of whom did not even know Eric,” Kleemann said. “The outpouring of support from friends, neighbors and complete strangers has been amazing.”

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