UPDATE: Body recovered from Rock River

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Frank Schultz
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

JANESVILLE—The Janesville Police Department will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. Tuesday regarding the recovery of a body from the Rock River, according to a news release.

The Gazette is planning on streaming the press conference live on our Facebook page.

Family, police, firefighters and others continued searching along the Rock River on Monday for Dakota R. Giese, the 21-year-old Janesville man who reportedly fell into the river Saturday.

Police said Monday morning they were treating the incident as a missing-person case and asked for the public's help.

“We are requesting any information that would place him in an area other than the river,” police said in a news release.

Among the searchers were members of Jordan's Search and Assist Team, a local group established this spring after the search for Jordan “Deets” White, 23. White was reported missing Nov. 8. His body was found Jan. 1 in the Rock River.

The search team's website stated police had asked the group to search from the Monterey Bridge and downstream.

The search team's Josh Berg said family and team members were searching along the river's banks.

It's been hard for the family, who are also searching, Berg said.

“They're preparing themselves for the worst but hoping for the best,” he said.

A cousin who declined to be identified said Giese and his girfriend are parents of a 9-month-old girl.

Giese was born and raised in Janesville, graduating from Parker High School, the cousin said.

Other family members gathered at Traxler Park on Monday afternoon, watching divers search the Rock River. A woman from the group said they would not speak to the press.

Giese and a friend were on the Ice Age Trail near Mercy Hospital when Giese fell in Saturday evening, police have reported.

The friend told police Giese was standing on a ledge above the river when he lost his balance and fell, police said.

Police had no new information Monday evening.

In the Monday-morning news release, Janesville police said divers from the Janesville Fire Department, Rock County Sheriff's Office and personnel from the Department of Natural Resources were coordinating search efforts near the area where Giese was last seen.

No new information had come to light that would indicate foul play, the release stated.

The search team put out a request for people with boats and binoculars.

“Whatever you do, please be very careful. Waters are very high. Anything that you do is at your own risk,” according to the team's Facebook page.

The river was slightly above flood stage Saturday, when Giese's fall into the river was reported.

The river gauge at Afton, south of Janesville, showed 8.6 feet Monday, just below the 9-foot flood stage.

The current is strong and could affect search efforts, a fire official told The Gazette on Saturday.

The river level on this segment of the river was predicted to fall slowly through the week.

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