Police identify missing boater who fell in the Connecticut River, search to continue this week


The search for a possible drowning victim in the Connecticut River continues on Monday. 

East Hartford police and fire departments were notified of a possible drowning in the Connecticut River near Great River Park between Hartford and East Hartford Saturday afternoon, East Hartford Police told News 8.

Police said three adults and one child were in a boat near a trestle bridge when an adult man jumped off of the boat to swim just after 2:00 p.m. but got caught in a current.

The passengers on the boat threw him flotation devices but the current was too strong and did not reach the victim. The passengers told police he then went under and did not resurface.

Close friends tell News 8 the man is 39-years-old and has three children. Police have identified him as Ivan De Jesus Morales Mencia of Hartford.

DEEP says the weather is forcing them to suspend the search and that the search conditions have been treacherous. The visibility in the water is poor due to trees and debris in the river from the winter run off and the current is fast moving like a washing machine.   

Along with East Hartford police and fire, boats and dive teams from Hartford, Tolland County and State Police have been involved in the search for the victim. 

The search resumed Sunday morning, but it was suspended at noon. Officials will continue the attempt to locate and recover the victim throughout the week.


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