Members of the Oaks-Park-based 'Oregon Rowing Unlimited' team at first thought that the object they saw floating in the Willamette during an early-morning river outing on October 16 was a Halloween prop.
As they drew closer the reality of what they had seen struck them - it was a deceased man.
Rowing team member Nancy Moore told reporters that the four-person crew, while rowing on the westerly side of the river, almost across from downtown Milwaukie, got close enough to see they'd spotted a dead, possibly male, body - and called for emergency services.
At 7:22 am, Multnomah County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) River Patrol deputies and Portland Fire and Rescue's river squad were dispatched to the site, which was about one mile south of the Sellwood Bridge.
'Deputies recovered the body of 41-year-old Eugene Ford, Jr.,' stated MCSO Public Information Officer Lt. Steve Alexander. 'The Multnomah County Medical Examiner's Office determined the cause of death was drowning. Milwaukie Police Department is handling the investigation.'