URBANA - Authorities have released a tentative identification for the body of a man found floating in Crystal Lake in Urbana on Thursday.
?Tentatively, the person was identified as Jerry D. Coleman, 44, based on identification found in his clothing,? Urbana police Lt. Michael Metzler said.
Mr. Coleman's last known address was in Urbana. It is not believed that he had any local family members but had some friends and acquaintances, Metzler said.
?We'd like to talk to anybody who knows Mr. Coleman and when they last saw him,? Metzler said.
Investigators suspect that the body had been in the water for perhaps weeks, Metzler said. Anyone with information is urged to call Urbana police at 384-2320.
?We are treating this as a homicide at this point,? the lieutenant said.
Because of the condition of the body, authorities won't know a cause of death until an autopsy is done, Metzler said.
Coroner Roger Swaney said an autopsy was being done today - in an effort to determine a cause of death.
?We are doing an autopsy because we really don't know what happened,? Swaney said.
?We are having trouble locating the family,? Swaney said. ?He has no known permanent address.?
The body was discovered just before 3 p.m. Thursday by workers from the Urbana Park District who were taking down Christmas lights and spotted something mired in the partially melted lagoon ice about 20 yards offshore south of the lakehouse, according to Metzler.
When they recognized that the object was a body, they called police, Metzler said.
The body was removed from the lagoon at 4:46 p.m. by the five members of the Cornbelt Fire Protection District dive team, working with the Champaign County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency.
Over the years, several bodies have been recovered from Crystal Lake.
The most recent case was that of Lawrence Dudley ?Frenchy? Bolden, 35, of Urbana. He was reported missing by family and friends in mid-December 1999. His body was found in the lake Feb. 25, 2000.
An autopsy showed he died from head injuries. No one was ever charged in connection with his death.