JERSEYVILLE — A Dow man who died Sunday evening swimming in the Mississippi River likely suffered a heart attack, Jersey County Coroner Larry J. Alexander said Thursday.
Timothy J. Bechtold, 54, reportedly was trying to swim from a sand bar to an island. Witnesses told authorities Bechtold appeared to start having difficulties while swimming and they tried to help him.
Jersey County Coroner Larry J. Alexander pronounced Bechtold dead at approximately 8:40 p.m. in the Piasa Harbor area.
“It would be a heart-related death,” Alexander said.
According to a release from Jersey County Sheriff Mark Kallal, emergency dispatchers received a 911 call at approximately 7:48 p.m. for a water rescue recovery.
Responding agencies included Jersey Community Ambulance, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the QEM Fire Protection District and the Jersey County Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office and Illinois Department of Natural Resources are investigating.
Bechtold worked for National Maintenance as a deck hand, according to his obituary.
Visitation will be 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at Gent Funeral Home, 2409 State St. in Alton, where funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Friday.