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Burial Friday for war veteran found dead in Huron River

Heather Chapin-Fowler • Oct 27, 2010 at 10:20 AM

A funeral for a 21-year-old Iraq war veteran whose body was found in the Huron River is scheduled for Friday in Reynoldsburg.

Nathan Dickey’s funeral will be 1 p.m. at Cotner Funeral Home, with visitation from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to his obituary posted at the funeral home’s website. 

Dickey’s family is from the Pickerington area, near Columbus.

Dickey was an Ohio National Guardsman who returned to the U.S. in May after serving 10 months in Iraq. 

He’d been living in Huron in recent months, and was reported missing Oct. 18 when he disappeared after a night of drinking with friends in downtown Huron. 

Authorities searched for him for more than seven days. They found his shoe floating in the Huron River and suspected he’d drowned.  

On Monday, after a citizen near the Huron Boat Basin reporting seeing a body in the water, police and firefighters arrived and retrieved Dickey’s body from the river.  

Lucas County coroner’s office is still conducting an autopsy. 

Huron officials, meanwhile, said they’ll soon be discussing the incident and related issues, such as safety features along the Huron River Boat Basin. It’s believed Dickey fell in the river and drowned Oct. 17, said Laura Alkire, the city’s law director.

Police said Dickey was highly intoxicated when his friends last saw him walking away from the bar the morning he disappeared.  

The wide concrete walkway along the river doesn’t have a safety barrier or railing.

“I know it has been discussed in the past,” Alkire said. “It will probably be discussed in the future.”

Alkire, who the city hired last year, said she wasn’t aware of past discussions regarding the steep concrete ledge along the river. The ledge drops straight down a few feet to the water.  

Huron city manager Andy White wasn’t available for comment yesterday, but discussions among city officials indicate Dickey’s fall wasn’t the first for a person walking near the river.

Police recalled a woman who walked right into the river because she wasn’t paying attention — she was using her cell phone, Alkire said.

The Register has submitted public records requests to Huron fire and police departments to gather further details on that incident and others related to people falling into the river. 

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