Body recovery

A firefighter from the Momence Fire Protection District on Thursday morning deploys into the Kankakee River to recover a body near the State Line Bridge at County Road 18000E.

The body of Michael A. Stefano, of Chicago, was recovered Thursday morning at the site where a boat slammed into a logjam on the Kankakee River on June 8.

Kankakee County Coroner Bob Gessner said the 66-year-old Stefano was found in the logjam by Illinois Department Conservation Police and others who have been working since the accident to clear the area.

“Officers Louie Farber and Matt Anderson have been working every day with other officers helping,” Conservation Police Sgt. Dave Wollgast, of District 3, said. “They didn’t give up.”

The logjam is located one-quarter mile west of the Illinois-Indiana state line. It is on the north side of a river island.

Gessner commended Farber and Anderson for their persistence and their work to recover Stefano.

Personnel from Momence and Riverside Ambulance were dispatched to the area of State Line Road (18000E Road) and 3400N Road at 10:45 a.m. Illinois State Police also were on scene.

Stefano and his dog, Buster, went missing and were presumed drowned when the boat they were in along with Stefano’s friend, James Hubona, of Grant Park, slammed into the logjam. It measures at least 25 feet wide and 12 feet deep.

Buster’s body was recovered 50 yards downstream five days after the accident.

Hubona was saved by three men who heard his cries for help as he clung to the boat.

Hubona said they were out for a cruise and were coming back when the accident occurred.

A version of this story appeared in the Friday digital edition of the Daily Journal.

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