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The Shawnee News-Star
  • UPDATE: Body found in river identified; cause of death awaited

  • The body of a woman found dead in the North Canadian River Friday evening has been identified as police continue to investigate the case.
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  • The body of a woman found dead in the North Canadian River Friday evening has been identified as police continue to investigate the case.
    Shawnee Police Detective Charles Swantek on Monday identified the woman as Casie Johnson, 25.
    At this point in the investigation, Swantek said Johnson’s death is considered suspicious. Police have interviewed several people, Swantek said, and all of them are cooperating with police.
    An autopsy report with a ruling on cause and manner of death is awaited from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
    Johnson’s body was discovered partially submerged on a sandbar in the North Canadian River, about 300 to 400 yards east of the Beard Street bridge in Shawnee.
    Police began walking that area of the river Friday after Johnson’s father reported her missing.
    Swantek said Johnson had gone to the river with some friends on Tuesday and hadn’t returned home. That information, along with a better description from Johnson’s friend concerning the area they were in, prompted Swantek, along with Detective Jason Crouch, Cpl. James Wood and Officer Robert Barton to go check that area.
    That’s when Swantek said they found the decomposing female body, which was in an area of the river south of where Union Street ends in Shawnee.
    Because of the difficultly reaching that location by ground, Shawnee firefighters from the department’s water rescue team were asked to assist. Fire crews put the department’s boat into the river near the Beard Street Bridge and went by water to retrieve Johnson’s body.
    Deputy Fire Chief Dru Tischer said three firefighters — Lt. Craig Cooper, Lt. James Kriwanek and Firefighter Tyler Farley traversed about one-fourth mile of the river to recover and deliver the body to detectives and the medical examiner.
    Swantek, who said that area of the river is a popular place for many people to go, believe Johnson went out there Tuesday. Anyone who may have any information about the case can call Shawnee police, 878-1698 or the CrimeStoppers line, 273-0989.

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