Authorities ID man found dead in river

STEUBENVILLE — The body of a man who reportedly fell into the Ohio River at the city marina on Tuesday evening was found Wednesday around 12:30 p.m. more than a half mile from the marina.

The Brooke County Sheriff’s Department identified the man as Michael Ziarko, 41, of Steubenville. West Virginia has jurisdiction in cases of bodies found in the river.

Crews from the Jefferson County Technical Rescue Team had two boats in the river, according to Robert Herrington, county 911 director. He said one of the boats from the team found Ziarko’s body was found near the shoreline. Herrington said members of the team have training in water rescues.

Brooke County Sheriff Larry Palmer said Ziarko’s body was taken to the marina and examined. He said nothing out of the ordinary was detected, but the body will be sent to the state medical examiner’s office in Charleston for an autopsy.

City firefighters and police officers received a report around 8 p.m. on Tuesday that a man had fallen from the marina into the river.

A female walking with him told him to swim to a lower section of the marina wall, police reported.

The woman ran to a shelterhouse and asked someone to call 911, according to police reports. The woman went back to the marina wall and couldn’t locate the man, according to reports.

Rescue boats from Weirton, Stratton and Brooke County also participated in the search on Wednesday, and a dive team from Wheeling assisted. Toronto emergency crews had a boat in the water on Tuesday evening.

(Law can be contacted at mlaw@heraldstaronline.com.)

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