Drowning investigation turned over to Illinois authorities

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Joey Caruso

The investigation into the death of a Cape Girardeau man has been turned over to authorities in Alexander County, Ill., a police spokesman said Tuesday.

Joseph Caruso, 24, was reported missing Saturday after he failed to come back from an evening out with friends at a nightclub in East Cape Girardeau, Ill. His body was found Monday in the Mississippi River near the Southeast Missouri Port Authority, Scott County Coroner Scott Amick confirmed Tuesday.

Darin Hickey, public information officer for the Cape Girardeau Police Department, said his department is prepared to assist Alexander County if necessary, but it does not have jurisdiction over the case because Caruso's last known whereabouts was in Illinois.

"If we need to help or need to assist, we're here, but ... the primary investigation is in Alexander County," Hickey said.

A man answering the phone at the Alexander County Sheriff's Office said no one was available to comment on the case Tuesday.

Caruso's body showed no signs of trauma, and an autopsy revealed he likely drowned, Amick said.

Toxicology results typically aren't available for several weeks.

Family members have said Caruso went out with friends Friday night at The Pony nightclub in East Cape Girardeau.

Newly engaged and looking forward to the birth of a child, Caruso would have been unlikely to disappear of his own will, his stepmother, Kirsten Caruso, said in an email message sent to news outlets over the weekend.

Some family members have expressed suspicion that someone deliberately harmed Caruso, citing two calls placed from his cellphone after his disappearance.

When Caruso's father called the two numbers, the people answering the phone said they didn't know him, his uncle Roger Money told the Southeast Missourian on Monday.

Hickey confirmed police were looking at cellphone records as part of their investigation Monday, but he declined to comment on their findings or speculate on how Caruso ended up in the river.



Pertinent address:

519 State Highway 146, McClure, IL

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