Coast Guard pulls body from Thames

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard wait at the  end of City Pier in New London Friday after pulling a body from the Thames River.
Members of the U.S. Coast Guard wait at the end of City Pier in New London Friday after pulling a body from the Thames River. Dana Jensen/The Day Buy Photo

New London - The body of a man pulled from the Thames River early Friday evening had a tattoo that appeared identical to that of a Waterford man missing since Wednesday, whom police had been searching for in the river earlier in the day.

A Coast Guard crew pulled the man from the river just off City Pier and took him to Coast Guard Station New London at Fort Trumbull, where city police would retrieve the body. The tattoo was visible as the body was taken out of the water.

The body had been spotted by a woman on the pier with several fishermen and others. Police cleared everyone off the pier until the Coast Guard crew arrived.

Police at the scene said the man has not yet been identified.

Friday morning, the Connecticut State Police Dive Team searched the river underneath the Gold Star Memorial Bridge for a Waterford man missing since Wednesday. Also earlier Friday, the name of the man, Andrew Dejong, 20, was released by Waterford police.

Dejong has had no contact with his family since Wednesday around 3 a.m., police said. He may have ridden a blue Cannondale mountain bike from his home.

The four-person dive team began searching under the bridge at about 10:30 a.m., using the boat's sonar to try to locate the body.

The State Police Emergency Services Unit and the Coast Guard also assisted the Waterford Police Department in the search.

Neither Waterford nor New London police could provide any further information late Friday.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Waterford Police at (860) 442-9451 or at: bmahoney@waterfordct.org.

Day staff writer Jennifer McDermott contributed to this report.

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