Search team finds body of man near Dowagiac River

NILES TOWNSHIP, Mich.  — A search team has found the body of a man police believe to be the one who had been missing from the Riverfront Park Campground for days in Niles Township. An autopsy is scheduled for Sunday, June 16.

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office says 47-year-old Garen Patrick Collins lived at the park along the Dowagiac River. He was reported missing June 9, and his vehicle was found in the parking lot of the Pucker Street Dam.

After receiving the missing person report, police from the sheriff’s office and Niles Township and Niles City fire departments began conducting an extensive search. Ultimately, nine agencies became involved in the investigation.

On Saturday, the sheriff’s office says 19 people – including sheriff’s deputies and members of the Niles city and township fire departments – found the body while conducting a search in a heavily-wooded area. The body was found in thick woods and brush about 100 yards from the river.

Police say there were no visible signs of foul play.

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office and Personnel from the Western Michigan University Homer R. Stryker School of Medicine’s Medical Examiner’s Office processed the scene and body for potential evidence.

The autopsy will be done at the Medical Examiner’s Office to positively identify the person and the cause of death.

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