Editor's Note: It was earlier reported that the man found in the Charles River in Medfield Saturday drowned while searching for his model airplane. The cause of death at this time remains unknown as Medfield Police await the medical examiner's report. Updated Sunday, June 26 at 1 p.m.
The body of a man in his 70s was found in the Charles River in Medfield Saturday after reportedly searching for a missing model airplane during an event, according to Medfield Police.
Massachusetts State Police Dive Team found the victim submerged in the water, "approximately 20 to 30 feet from shore," according to police reports. The victim's identity is being withheld by Medfield Police until the next of kin has been notified.
At 1:04 p.m. Saturday, Medfield Police received a call for an individual "possibly" lost in the woods, according to a statement released by Medfield Chief of Police Robert Meaney Jr. The man, in his early 70s, was participating in a model airplane flight event at the field near the Medfield State Hospital when a model airplane went missing, the statement said.
"One of the model planes crashed in the area that adjoins the Charles River in Medfield," the statement said. "The individual went to search for the plane. When he had not returned in a short period of time, family members contacted the Medfield Police Department for assistance."
Medfield Police requested assistance from several other agencies. Medfield Fire responded with various pieces of equipment, including boats to search along the Charles River, according to the statement. Millis Police also responded with personnel and their boat and Sherborn Police assisted at the scene.
The Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council in Sharon was contacted to respond with K-9 units to assist in the ground search, according to police statements.
"K-9 units from Ashland and Duxbury Police Departments and Norfolk County Sheriff's Department responded and began to search in the area," according to the statement.
The Massachusetts State Police Air Wing responded to Medfield Police's request for a helicopter in order to do a visual infrared search of the area, Meaney's statement said. The Massachusetts State Police Dive Team was also requested to respond.
Two people in kayaks, according to Medfield Police, found some clothing along the bank of the river and also located the missing model airplane in the river. Search efforts were "concentrated" on that area but K-9 units had a "difficult time" searching along either side of the river due to the nature of the marshy terrain, Meaney said in a statement.
The Massachusetts State Police Air Wing did an extensive and thorough search of the area but was unable to locate the missing person. The Massachusetts State Police Dive Team searched in the area of where the clothing and model plane were found and in "a short period of time" were able to locate the victim submerged in the water, according to police reports, approximately 20 to 30 feet from shore.
"The body was brought to shore by boat and turned over to personnel from the office of the Chief Medical Examiner," according to Meaney's statement.
All units were cleared from the scene at approximately 6:45 p.m. Saturday and an investigation is ongoing.
"We will probably not hear anything on the cause of death for several days," Meaney said.
Medfield Patch will provide updates to this article when more information becomes available.