Wilmington man dies of hypothermia after falling into creek

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WILMINGTON, Ill. – A 67-year-old old man was found dead Wednesday in a creek from hypothermia exposure, police said.

Officers were called to the 1500 block of Charlotte Street Wednesday evening to check on a vehicle that has run off the road next to Deer Creek.

When they arrived, officers found a 2005 GMC SUV unoccupied at the dead end of Charlotte Street, resting against a concrete bridge support.

Police said the vehicle was closed with no keys in it.

Police starting searching the area and found the owner of the vehicle, Melvin Von Kaenel, 67, of Wilmington, lying in the creek.

Von Kaenel was found deceased due to hypothermia exposure, police said.

While on the scene, family reported Von Kaenel missing. They said he left his home Tuesday evening just before 10 p.m. and had not returned home.

Police believe Von Kaenel’s vehicle got stuck at a dead end and he started to walk. He apparently fell down an embankment and into the creek where he was found, police said.

Wilmington police said no signs of foul play were found at the scene.

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