Rafters discover body of young Rogue River man

The body of a 19-year-old Rogue River man who fell into the Rogue River more than two weeks ago was discovered Saturday morning, according to a Josephine County Sheriff's Office news release.

Joshua Eddy's submerged body was found by a group of rafters near Marial, about 11/2; miles upstream from the Rogue River Ranch. The rafters went to the Rogue River Ranch to notify employees, who in turn alerted law enforcement.

Rangers from the Bureau of Land Management waited with the body until a Josephine County sheriff's marine deputy could respond and recover it. The body was recovered shortly before 6 p.m. The Sheriff's Office has contacted Eddy's next of kin.

Eddy was out enjoying the sun and hanging with friends at Rainie Falls, a popular fishing spot along the Rogue River approximately 20 miles away from Merlin, on the afternoon of May 5. He perched on a rock trying to snap a picture when he lost his footing and fell into the water, the strong current sweeping him away.

Authorities said there was no reason to suspect drugs or alcohol were involved.

Eddy's friends and family had to hike out for an hour before they were able to call 911. The Josephine County Sheriff's Department Search and Rescue team (agency has been corrected from previous version) spearheaded a several-day search in coordination with Rural-Metro Fire and American Medical Response. Jackson County Commissioner John Rachor also searched from above in a private plane.

Search and rescue crews walked the riverbanks while two sheriff's deputies rafted the 20-mile stretch between Marial and Grave Creek, near where Eddy fell in.

The search was called off May 7 after no body was found.

Sheriff's officials explained the river's height, cold temperature and speed complicated search efforts, as dive teams could not be deployed.

About 500 people attended Eddy's memorial service Saturday. Eddy's family has set up a memorial scholarship fund at the ALERT Academy, a Christian training and service organization. Donations can be made by visiting www.alertacademy.com, clicking "Donate Now," and then under "Designation" selecting "Scholarship Fund," and typing in "J. Eddy Scholarship Fund" in the "Comments" section.

Reach reporting intern Nils Holst at 541-776-4368 or email holstn@sou.edu.

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