SALEM — A man jogging yesterday afternoon beside the North River in Salem flagged down a car to call police after spotting a body in the water, police said.
The body, identified by police as a Peabody man, whose name was not released as of press time last night, was pulled out of the water near the intersection of Flint and Bridge streets at 4:15, about 20 minutes after the initial call.
Ten firefighters responded to the scene and launched an inflatable boat to retrieve the body.
Firefighters Phillip Lohnes and Mike Buonfiglio were lowered into the boat and recovered the body, said Deputy Chief Gerry Giunta.
Police said it was likely that the man floated all the way from his hometown, given tidal patterns. Police wouldn’t speculate on how long he was in the water.
“We don’t know if it’s an accident or a crime or a suicide,” said Sgt. Peter Gifford on the scene.
The fully clothed, middle-aged man was not found in the police system and is not presumed homeless. His listed address is fairly close to the canal in Peabody, police said.
Officers said there was no obvious sign of trauma, but they’re not ruling anything out. The state medical examiner accepted the case around 5:00 p.m., and the body was transported to Boston for further investigation.
“I don’t know if he tripped and fell in. It could be a million things,” Gifford said.
Officers waited on the scene for detectives to arrive, standing around the bright orange body bag as curious drivers craned their necks out of their car windows.
The caller who discovered the body did not remain in the area.
Taylor Rapalyea can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.