Coroner investigating cause of death of man found in Shunganunga Creek

By Ann Marie Bush
Topeka Capital Journal – April 10, 2015

Fire crews carry a boat down to a more accessible part of the Shunganunga Creek on Friday morning. Crews used the boat to pull the body out that was found further upstream. Photo by Emily Deshazer.

Fire crews carry a boat down to a more accessible part of the Shunganunga Creek on Friday morning. Crews used the boat to pull the body out that was found further upstream. Photo by Emily Deshazer.

A Topeka employee surveying Shunganunga Creek on Friday discovered a man’s body partially submerged in the water.

The identity and age of the man weren’t available as of 1 p.m. Topeka police Lt. Ash Kaboudan said the Shawnee County coroner will determine the cause of the death. It wasn’t immediately known whether foul play was involved.

“It’s too early to determine,” Kaboudan said.

Topeka police officers and firefighters at 10:23 p.m. were dispatched to the 1300 block of S.W. 21st, behind Family Dollar, on a call of a body found face down in the creek.

First arriving officers said at the time it was to early to determine if it was a body, so detectives and crime scene technicians were brought to the scene. Firefighters left but returned about 30 minutes later with a rescue boat and additional equipment.

District Attorney Chad Taylor arrived at the scene, as did personnel from the coroner’s office.

Within about 10 minutes, firefighters had the boat in the water. They walked upstream alongside the boat to remove the body.

The body was loaded onto the boat, and then transferred to the back of a white coroner’s van.

The man had clothes on, Kaboudan said. He also confirmed there are homeless camps in that area.

Several people stopped to find out what was happening. A bicyclist had to leave the trail because of crime scene tape. After asking what was going on, he snapped photographs with his phone.



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