Body is ID’d as Angler

McCauley went missing Feb. 28

Morgantown Dominion Post
15 June 2012
By Ben Conley

More than three months of painful waiting ended Thursday for a Morgantown family. The Fayette County, Pa., coroner’s office announced that a body pulled from the Monongahela River on June 7 was that of 62-year-old Fred McCauley.

McCauley went missing and was believed to have fallen into the river while fishing at Edith B. Barill Riverfront Park on Feb. 28. His body was found last week by two people fishing from a boat just north of Point Marion Borough, on the Fayette County, Pa., side of the river.

According to Roberta McCauley, Fred’s widow, the family is finally able to move on.

“Every day wondering where he was, it was hard. It’s good that we can put him to rest,” she said. “It’s been a difficult three months. Very difficult for the whole family.”

According to Star City Police Chief Vic Propst, the confirmation was a relief, but it didn’t come in the expected manner.

“We’re relieved for the family, but really disappointed with the medical examiner’s office in Pennsylvania, that they didn’t officially notify the family or us before releasing it to the media. I ended up finding out about it on TV, and I would hate to think about the family hearing about it like that. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. Around here, that’s not how we do things.”

Propst said he passed the news on to McCauley’s family, though Roberta McCauley said the family was pretty sure the body was Fred’s the day it was discovered.

Propst went on to say that the investigation into McCauley’s disappearance was a massive undertaking Star City’s police force. “All told, since Feb. 29, I’ we have well over 200 man-hours on it,” he said When you figure in time spent searching the river banks and the trail, going over evidence, searching the Internet, sitting with the family and everything else had all six officers work on this at one point.”