Body found in Susquehanna identified as missing 19-year-old from Lebanon

crosenblum@centredaily.comMay 26, 2014 

A man found dead in the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in Burnside Township was identified Monday as the missing individual from a church canoe trip.

Search teams from Centre and Clearfield counties had been looking for Curtis E. Martin, 19, of Lebanon, since he disappeared during a May 17 expedition on the river.

Centre County Coroner Scott Sayers said Monday that a person on the Karthaus Bridge spotted Martin’s body near the bridge late Sunday morning and called 911. Martin’s body also was seen by an individual working on a nearby railroad line, Sayers said.

Martin’s body began drifting downriver before he was pulled from the water on the Centre County side, Sayers said.

“At some point, with the swiftness of the current, he started to move again,” Sayers said.

Sayers conducted an autopsy Monday, but held off on determining a cause of death pending a toxicology report that will be available in four to six weeks.

Sayers said Martin’s body had been in the water since he went missing.

State police at Clearfield oversaw the recovery process. Police said no report from the recovery, which involved Centre and Clearfield fire companies, was available Monday.

Martin reportedly jumped or fell into the turbulent, 41-degree water when his canoe was headed for a rock. Fourteen people were on the trip.

Chris Rosenblum can be reached at 231-4620. Follow him on Twitter @CRosenblumNews.

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