LEHIGH – The body of a Dayton man was recovered in the Des Moines River by search teams Tuesday morning, according to Webster County Sheriff Jim Stubbs.
Colin James Murphy, 23, was found at 9:58 a.m. just south of the Main Street bridge.
He was found in the same vicinity where he was last seen Sunday morning, Stubbs said.
Four boats were on the river at the time when his body was discovered, according to Stubbs.
Cadaver dogs contributed to the discovery of Murphy’s body. After the dogs indicated he was in the area, search teams zeroed in on that location, Stubbs said.
His body was transported by a UnityPoint Health ambulance to Trinity Regional Medical Center in Fort Dodge at about 10:30 a.m.
“At this point in time, it brings closure for everybody in the community and everybody here,” Stubbs said during a Tuesday morning press conference. “Everybody came together and it was with great support that we were able to bring this to a conclusion.”
He said the family of Murphy wanted to recognize all the volunteers and agencies that assisted with the search.
“Please keep the family in your prayers and thoughts as they go through this time of grief,” Stubbs added.
Scott Forbes, Webster County emergency management coordinator, credited all the volunteers.
About 17 agencies assisted in the search operation.
“We would like to thank all the responding agencies, the volunteers and the entire community for the support and help,” he said.
Murphy was a volunteer firefighter in Dayton.
Nick Dunbar, Dayton police chief, was close to him.
“I met Colin when I started working for the Police Department back in 2010,” Dunbar said. “Colin was on the volunteer fire department there. I have grown to know him over those years both professionally and personally.”
He said the two would joke around together.
“Colin was one of those guys who could walk into a room and make anybody smile,” he said. “It didn’t really matter what was going on. He would just walk in a room and everybody would love him.”
Murphy served on the Dayton Police Department from 2014 to 2015 as a reserve officer, Dunbar said.
“I spent a considerable amount of time with him in the car, doing training with him,” he said.
Dunbar recalled Murphy dumping a trash can full of water on him for an ice bucket challenge.
“He was just a fun loving guy,” he said.
Murphy spent time in both Dayton and Lehigh.
“Colin is one of those guys who will be very well missed,” he said. “It’s another hard hit for the Dayton community and Lehigh as well.”
Dunbar said tragedies like these are a reminder to keep loved ones close.
“The biggest thing is hold your loved ones close,” he said. “You just don’t know when something bad is going to happen.”
Taylor Hansen, of Dayton, was a close friend of Murphy’s.
She said he put others before himself.
“He always looked out for everyone in our community when he was a cop,” she said. “He had a great heart and an amazing personality. He was willing to do anything for anyone.”
“His smile could light up the whole room.”