Body of Chicago Pastor Who Went Missing While Visiting Friends Pulled from Car Submerged in River

Warren Beard, 53, was found dead in the Des Plaines River on July 9, authorities said

<p>Chicago Police Department</p> Warren Beard.

Chicago Police Department

Warren Beard.

A missing Chicago pastor has been found dead inside his vehicle in an Illinois river.

The body of Warren Beard, 53, was found in the Des Plaines River in Rockdale on Tuesday, July 9. He was pronounced dead at 6:20 p.m. local time, the Will County Coroner’s Office said in a post on Facebook.

The Illinois State Police are now investigating the incident, and an autopsy will be performed on Wednesday, the coroner’s office said.

There had been no indication of foul play in the investigation, according to NBC affiliate WMAQ-TV.

Beard, a father of five and assistant pastor at a South Side church, had been last seen on July 2, according to the Chicago Sun-Times and WMAQ-TV.

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Family members told authorities that Beard had been visiting friends in nearby Joliet at the time. A license plate reader showed that his Honda CR-V was seen at about 10 p.m. on North Broadway Street that night, per the Sun-Times.

On the morning of July 9, the Army Corps of Engineers contacted authorities in Rockdale with information that the car was recorded on surveillance footage driving into the river around 10:47 p.m. on July 2, the paper reported.

An hourslong search of the river resulted in Beard’s vehicle being found just after 2:45 p.m., per WMAQ.

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Now, the pastor’s colleagues and family members are recalling the impact that he made — personally and on their community.

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"We are all hurting right now," Beard's aunt Theresa Boss-French said. "We all know Reverend Warren Beard is not someone who would just disappear without saying a word to his family.”

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