UPDATE: CF Police identify body found near train tracks - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Chippewa Falls Police identify body found near train tracks

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Chippewa Falls (News Release) - On February 23, 2014 at 7:10 a.m., a Chippewa County Sheriff's employee was traveling across the railroad tracks on Main Street near Park Avenue. He spotted some clothing items that caused him to look further. He soon realized that someone may have been fatally injured by a moving train. Chippewa Falls Police quickly secured the railroad tracks with barricades and closed all streets in the area.

An investigation revealed that a Union Pacific Train that was traveling west-bound, was stopped blocking the Main Street intersection at approximately 2:30 a.m. for approximately 3 hours. Train personnel were inspecting a mechanical issue as well as a weight verses power available concern as they approached a slight incline in the terrain. The train then began moving again at 5:30 a.m. until it stopped for the final time for routine maintenance west of the Chippewa Falls city limits, near the Highway 53 interchange.

Evidence located on the tracks led CFPD Investigators to inspect the train for any evidence of the incident, at which time the victim was located.  Other officers collected items found along the tracks that were believed to belong to the victim. From a Wisconsin identification card that was with the victim's body and by talking with family members of the victim, investigators believed that the victim was Mr. Donald Dreke, 41, of Chippewa Falls. Today, (February 24, 2014) investigators confirmed the victim's identity as Mr. Dreke by fingerprint comparisons.

Preliminary information indicates that Mr. Dreke may have boarded one of the railroad cars when it was stopped or prior to moving at 5:30 a.m. Mr. Dreke may have fallen or tried to jump off the train when the tragedy occurred. Information learned that it was common for Mr. Dreke to walk from that area to his home which was just a few blocks away.

At this point there is no evidence of foul play or any information that leads investigators to believe that this was not an accident. Officials from the Union Pacific Railroad are cooperating with the investigation.

Agencies that assisted CFPD during this investigation was Chippewa County Sheriff's Office, Department of Natural Resources, Chippewa County Coroner's Office, Chippewa Falls Fire Department, Chippewa Falls Street Department, and Union Pacific Railroad.

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Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - UPDATE: Chippewa Falls police say they believe the victim whose body was found near train tracks is a Chippewa Falls man.

Chippewa Falls Police Chief Wendy Stelter says they have not officially identified the person but they say they believe it is a man from Chippewa Falls.  Chief Stelter also told News 18 that police believe he was riding on the train and fell off.

Police say the train had stopped in the area where the remains were found, and then began moving on toward Lake Hallie at 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning. The remains were first spotted around 7 a.m. Sunday.

Chief Stelter tells News 18 that if the body is that of the man they think it is, there were no signs of that person being suicidal. Chief Stelter addressed the possibility of alcohol being involved, saying the man they're thinking of was known to frequent bars in the area where the remains were found.

**Continue to check WQOW.com for updates to this developing story.

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Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - A chilling discovery early Sunday morning in Chippewa Falls. Body parts were found strewn alongside the railroad tracks.  Police tell News 18 an I.D. card has been found along with the remains, but say that alone is not enough to confirm who the person is.

Around 7:00 a.m. on Sunday Chippewa Falls Police received a call from a passerby, who noticed something on the railroad tracks.

Wendy Stelter, the chief of police for Chippewa Falls, said body parts, clothing and personal items were found on the tracks near the intersection of Main Street and Park Avenue. She said, "The Chippewa Falls Police Department, patrol and investigators are combing the tracks for any information leading to the identity of this person and how this occurred."

Investigators believe the victim is an adult male. Police say the man may have been dragged by the train. Evidence of that was discovered for several miles along the tracks.

Chief Stelter said, "That's what we believe, that this was a lone person, walking on the tracks or even on the train itself."

Chief Stelter said the railroad company, Union Pacific, is assisting with the investigation. The train in question was stopped outside city limits for a period of time on Sunday. "My belief is that they don't, or didn't know that they hit anything," adds the chief. 

The Chippewa County Sheriff's Department, Chippewa Falls Fire Department and Chippewa Falls Street Department are all assisting in the investigation. "We've been assisted by numerous agencies and their equipment because now we have to get through the deep snow and it makes it very difficult," explains Chief Stelter. "We're utilizing DNR and even our street department for equipment."

Remains of the victim have been turned over to the Chippewa County coroner. Police say at this point, there is no indication of foul play. To help with the investigation, police closed off some city streets on the south side. By late Sunday afternoon, all roads and railways had been reopened.

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Chippewa Falls (WQOW)- An identification card has been found on the remains of a man's body discovered near the railroad tracks in Chippewa Falls. Police say that alone is not enough to confirm who the person is.

Police say they are not releasing the name, pending positive confirmation and notification of the next of kin. At this point, police also say there is no indication of foul play. A news conference was held early Sunday afternoon where Chippewa Falls said they believed the body parts are from an adult male. 

Clothing and personal items were also found at the tracks near Main Street and Park Avenue. Police believe the man may have been dragged by the train. Evidence of that was discovered for several miles along the tracks. 

Police say the operator of the train did not report seeing or hearing anything.  Sunday morning around 7:00 a.m. police received a call from a passerby who noticed items on the railroad tracks.

As of late Sunday afternoon investigators had completed searching the scene. All intersections and railroad lines have been reopened.

(News Release from Chippewa Falls Police Dept.)

Investigators have completed searching of the scene. All intersections and railroad lines have been allowed to be re-opened.

Chippewa Falls Police Department officers are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding this death. Police have located an identification card on the body of the deceased. Due to the condition of the body we cannot confirm the person's identity by this alone. We are not releasing the name of the deceased pending positive confirmation and notification of the next of kin. Remains of the deceased have been turned over to the Chippewa County Coroner. At this point there is no indication of foul play, however this is an ongoing investigation and new information may be discovered.

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Chippewa Falls (WQOW)- Chippewa Falls police believe body parts discovered near the train tracks Sunday morning are from an adult male. 

A news conference was held around noon Sunday. Police say they have not identified the male victim. Clothing and personal items were also found at the tracks near Main Street and Park Avenue. Police believe the man may have been dragged by the train. Evidence of that was discovered for several miles along the tracks. 

Police say the operator of the train did not report seeing or hearing anything.  Sunday morning around 7:00 a.m. police received a call from a passerby who noticed items on the railroad tracks. 

Investigators have not commented on the nature of the death. Police could not say whether foul play was involved, or whether the incident was accidental or a suicide. 

Just after 1:00 p.m. Sunday all routes on the south side of the city were reopened. 

 

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Chippewa Falls (News Release) - Sunday morning at approximately 7:10 a.m.,  CFPD received a call from a passerby that they noticed items on the railroad tracks near Main Street and Park Avenue that may have been dragged by the train. Those items appear to be pieces of clothing, personal items, and body parts. CFPD Patrol and Investigators are combing the tracks for any information leading to the identity and how this occurred.

Crews have closed all routes to the south side of the city, except by Highway 124, Seymour Cray Blvd. and Hwy 53. Please avoid the area.

CFPD is being assisted by the Chippewa County Sheriff's Department, Chippewa Falls Fire, Chippewa Falls Street Department, and Union Pacific Railroad.

**Continue to check WQOW.com for updates to this developing story.

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