Fisherman’s body recovered from PM River

February 2, 2024

A Michigan DNR boat helped transport the victim’s body.

Fisherman’s body recovered from PM River

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

BRANCH TOWNSHIP — First responders recovered the body of a 70-year-old Livonia man from the Pere Marquette River Friday afternoon following an extensive search.

Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole said the Lake County Sheriff’s Office contacted Mason/Oceana 911 at 5:38 a.m. Friday about a missing person complaint. Cole said the family of Thomas Patrick Moran called to report that he had not returned. Cole said he was vacationing in Lake County and went out fly fishing on the Pere Marquette River Thursday but had not returned.

“The Lake County Sheriff’s Office was able to provide Mason County deputies with a general area in Mason County to check,” Cole said. “This was federal forest property known as the Maple Leaf Access and is located approximately one mile south of US 10 and Taylor Road in Branch Township.”

Cole said deputies located Moran’s unoccupied vehicle at the Maple Leaf Access parking area at 6:05 a.m.

“Mr. Moran was not with his vehicle so a more extensive search began using foot patrols, watercraft and drones.”

At 12:13 p.m., Moran’s body was found in the Pere Marquette River, about one mile downstream from the Maple Leaf Access Parking area.

“Although this investigation is ongoing and an official cause of death will be determined at autopsy, it appears that the incident was accidental or medical in nature,” Cole said.

Moran’s body was transported by a Michigan Department of Natural Resources law enforcement boat to the Walhalla Road bridge boat launch where the Mason County medical examiner viewed the body.

Assisting agencies included Mason County Sheriff’s Office (including the Mason County Drone Unit and Mason County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol), Michigan DNR, Branch Fire Department, Life EMS, Mason/Oceana 911, Mason County Victim Services Unit, and Mason County Emergency Management.

“On behalf of the men and women at the Mason County Sheriff’s Office, our thoughts are with the Moran family during this difficult time,” Cole said.

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