VAN METER, Iowa – Police have released the name of a man who fell off his inner tube while floating on the Raccoon River Sunday, after his body was recovered Tuesday morning.
Van Meter Police Chief William Daggett confirmed to WHO 13 that the body of 34-year-old Ricco Morrow, of Des Moines, was located in the river southeast of Van Meter near the Prairie Village Mobile Home Park.
Emergency crews were originally called to the river in an area near Van Meter on Sunday afternoon after Morrow fell from his inner tube into the water and disappeared. Crews searched the river until dark Sunday and resumed their search on Monday.
Chief Daggett said it happened at a spot on the river upstream of Van Meter where construction crews were doing work on a bridge. The crews had diverted the river’s flow using large, corrugated metal tubes, like culverts. Daggett said Morrow’s mother told him her son was tubing with some people when two teens in the group got sucked into the tubes, and he tried to help them. That’s when he fell off his tube and didn’t resurface.
Crews from the Van Meter Police Department, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Van Meter Fire & Rescue, and Adel Fire & Rescue were continuing to search the river Tuesday when Morrow’s body was located.
According to Daggett, the DNR had spoken to the Iowa Department of Transportation about placing signs upstream of the bridge construction to warn those on the river about the dangerous conditions. He was not certain whether those signs had been placed.
Chief Daggett told WHO 13 that he is planning to have the Van Meter Fire Department completely shut down access to the river starting at the Puckerbrush access. He plans to put a lot of signage up warning people of the dangers and would also like to place a physical barrier in the river with signs on it, much like the chain barrier across the Des Moines River in downtown Des Moines.