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Benton Harbor police ID body found by diving club

Published On: Dec 24 2013 05:15:32 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 30 2013 08:19:18 PM CST


Police have identified a body found by a diving club in the St. Joseph River Saturday. They say it is 34-year-old Dewayne Flowers of Benton Harbor.


It's called the Turkey Dive — an annual event for the Michigan Underwater Divers Club. But there was nothing routine when divers  practicing their skills in the St Joseph River discovered a body.
Diver Bob Sweeney is the president of the Michigan Underwater Divers club. Ten minutes into the dive he found what at first he though was a mannequin, but he soon realized it was the body of a man. 

“It had a stocking cap and when I kind of pulled the cap back and saw there was an actual ear underneath…” Sweeney recounted to WSBT.

The man was about 17 feet down at the bottom with his leg caught on a barrel.

Tonight authorities have identified that man as 34-year-old Dewayne Charles Flowers of Benton Harbor.
It's not known how long Flowers was in the river.

He was last seen by family members on November 10. He was not reported missing, but the Michigan Department of Corrections has him listed as a parole absconder on November 9. 

The following release was issued by Benton Harbor police Saturday night: 

On Saturday November 30, 2013 an area diving club  (Michigan Underwater Divers Club) was conducting an annual diving exercise in the St. Joseph River  behind the Chase Bank Building in Benton Harbor.  One of the divers located underwater what he thought to be the body of an unknown male subject.  The body was lodged in an underwater depression between rocks.  The divers immediately contacted the authorities and BHDPS responded to the scene.

The Berrien County Dive Team arrived sometime later to assist BHDPS.  The BC Dive Team extracted the individual from the water and the body was taken to the County Morgue at Lakeland Hospital.  The investigation revealed the identity of the victim as 34 year-old DEWAYNE CHARLES FLOWERS of Benton Harbor.  There were no apparent signs injury, but the case is under investigation.  Authorities do not know how long the victim had been in the water.  He was last seen by family on 11/10/13.  Mr. FLOWERS had not been report as missing, however he was listed as a parole absconder by the Michigan Department of Corrections.  FLOWERS absconded from parole on 11/9/13.

The autopsy is set for Monday morning.  The case remains under investigation.

If anyone has any information regarding DEWAYNE FLOWERS please contact the BHDPS Detective Bureau at 269-927-8448.