The body of a Fairview Heights man was recovered Wednesday night from a lake at Frank Holten State Park, St. Clair County Coroner Rick Stone said.
David Lichtenegger, 61, of 11 Hillcrest Drive, was pronounced dead at 6:45 p.m., Stone said. His body was found floating near the bank of the lake.
Illinois State Police were told the man apparently fell out of a kayak and drowned, but police were still investigating the case, Illinois State Police Capt. Jim Morrisey said.
"At this point I can't make any assumption," Stone said. "It would appear drowning is the cause but we won't know until we perform our autopsy in the morning."
Lichtenegger appeared to be alone, Stone said. His wife had been looking for him earlier in the day.
Bob Liebl, an Illinois Conservation Police officer, said a park employee saw an overturned kayak about 5:15 p.m. Conservation Police officers arrived about 5:45 p.m. and then found the body.
This would be the first drowning in the state park this year, according to Liebl, who would not comment further on the circumstances of the man's death because it was still under investigation.
"It's terrible for whoever's family (this is)," said Fabriciano Ledo, who lives across the street from the lake.
The man's relatives could be seen grieving near the lake. They declined to comment.
A hearse pulled away from the scene at 8:42 p.m., and most of the remaining firefighters and police who were at the scene followed shortly thereafter.
Contact reporter Kevin Bersett at email@example.com or 239-2535. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/KevinBersett.