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The River: Was Dewayne Flowers weighed down?

A follow-up on "The River" an ABC57 Real Time Investigation into the bodies of at least six Benton Harbor residents found in the St. Joseph River and Lake Michigan--and fears they were victims of foul play.

One of them, 33 year old Dewayne Flowers, was found dead underwater in November 2013. His family, and many others in Benton Harbor, believe Flowers was purposely weighted down and thrown in the river by someone.

Police maintain that is not the case.

During our initial investigation we discovered what people first thought were "ankle weights" a runner might use to work out was really a Michigan Department of Corrections ankle monitor and we showed a picture of it from the autopsy report.

But we still heard from some people who don't believe the police and autopsy reports, so we tracked down the amateur diver who made the discovery to ask him if Dewayne Flowers was weighed down in any way.

Bob Sweeney of the Michigan Underwater Divers Club told us, "There wasn't anything holding him in place. What we thought were running weights was actually a GPS tracker for parolees and they got the serial number off it so they were able to identify who he was and they said he had gone missing a few weeks before." 

Sweeney says he found Dewayne Flowers’ body in about 15 feet of water just off Riverview Drive in Benton Harbor on November 30, 2013.

He says it happened during club’s annual Thanksgiving weekend dive at the site they use every year. He also told us there were glass bottles full of river water lodged under Flowers’ body but he believes they got stuck there by the river’s currents and not somehow used to weigh him down.

Dewayne flowers official cause of death was listed as mixed drug toxicity involving cocaine and heroin but the manner of death was labeled “undetermined” and there were no witnesses who reported seeing him go into the water.

You can watch an extended interview with Sweeney at the top of this page.

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