The body of Roger Goodell was recovered from the Mississippi River just south of Lock and Dam 9 on Saturday, Oct. 25 by members of the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department.
The 64-year-old Ferryville man had fallen out of the boat from which he was fishing two weeks earlier near the dam.
On Saturday at approximately 4:30 p.m., two boaters notified the sheriff’s department that they had spotted what may be a body in the river south of the dam.
Members of the sheriff’s department, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources personnel, volunteer fire department members from Wisconsin and Iowa, and family and friends had been searching for Goodell daily since he had fallen in and was presumed drowned on October 11. Goodell’s body was found approximately three-quarters-of-a- mile downstream from the dam.
“We had over 200 volunteers in boats searching, we had underwater sonar cameras, we searched some of the wing dams with a diver and found nothing,” said Crawford County Sheriff Dale McCullick. “I think we all feared his body was probably somewhere under the roller gate of the lock and dam and we may never recover him.”
On Wednesday Oct. 22, the sheriff’s department utilized two cadaver dogs from a Madison-based company called K-9 Search Solutions. The dogs are trained to detect human remains. They were taken out by boat to the roller gate were Goodell had fallen in. Both dogs indicated, meaning that there was an odor of human remains,according to McCullick.
On Friday, October 24, employees of the US Army Corps of Engineers bulk headed the portion of the dam where Goodell had fallen entered the water. The roller gate was then lifted up so the bottom of the roller gate could be inspected. Nothing was found, but it is apparent that Goodell’s body was trapped under the gate and released as the gate was being lifted.
“I want to extend my gratitude to the Corps of Engineers and their employees, bulk heading a gate is time and labor intensive and not something they do regularly,” McCullick said. “I don’t think we would have found him for a long time, if ever, had they not done this procedure. I also want to thank all the other volunteers that assisted with the search. I am glad the family can finally have closure.”