River incident apparent suicide

Published 12:28 am Sunday, October 4, 2015

The body found in a car that was driven into the Ohio River on Wednesday is being treated as an apparent suicide, according to Ironton Police.

Because of that the victim’s name is not expected to be released, Ironton Detective Joe Ross said.

“We are probably not going to for the sake of the family on what we consider a suicide,” he said.

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However, multiple sources have confirmed the body was prominent businessman Jim Weber, who had a longtime insurance agency in South Point.

Witnesses say they saw a car go into the river at the Center Street boat landing around 7:15 p.m. Wednesday. Those individuals said there was one person in the vehicle.

Those accounts are the basis for the police considering this a suicide rather than an accident.

“They saw the car drive by them down the landing, turn around and it went back up to the top,” Ross said. “There witnesses heard a car at high rate of speed and saw the vehicle accelerating.”

Rescue workers searched the river until 1 a.m. Thursday when they located the car. Ross said it had drifted downstream about halfway the length of the Center Street landing.

Police confirmed at the time there was one victim — a male who was seat-belted into the driver’s side of the car.

Ironton, Ashland and Russell, Kentucky fire departments and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources assisted in the recovery of the vehicle.

No autopsy was performed but toxicology testing was done to determine if drugs or alcohol were involved.

That information was sent to Columbus where a report is expected to take up to two months.