Family of missing Bay County man found in river asking for funer - WNEM TV 5

Family of missing Bay County man found in river asking for funeral help

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Robert Billingsley (Source: Bay County Sheriff's Dept.) Robert Billingsley (Source: Bay County Sheriff's Dept.)
Source: WNEM Source: WNEM
BAY COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

The body of a missing Bay County man has been found, and now his family is asking for help with funeral costs.

Robert (Bob) Billingsley, 59, was last seen March 14 after walking away from his job in Bay City, near 404 Washington Ave.

His body was found in the Saginaw River on April 18 shortly after 4 p.m.

A pedestrian discovered a body in the river by the Golson Boat Launch, at the end of Johnson Street in Bay City and called 911, according to Bay County Undersheriff Troy Cunningham.

The Bay County Sheriff's Marine Patrol recovered the body near the USS Edson.

There was a wallet with Billingsley's ID with the body. The body was also identified by Billingsley's family members, Cunningham said.

Cunningham said he believes the incident occurred near the DoubleTree hotel.

Investigators said he had been depressed.

He turned in his vehicle and cell phone to his employer prior to leaving.

Billingsley was last seen wearing blue jeans, black tennis shoes and either a blue or maroon polo work shirt from LJ Kitchens.

The family said it was out of his character for him to disappear and he was usually very upbeat and carefree.

Search teams looked for Bob Billingsley in Bay City. Several searches came up missing, until his body was found on April 18.

On March 27 a search and rescue team searched the Saginaw River for the missing man.

"Our strategy is to run north and south on the river to the edges of the banks. With cadaver dogs in boats, that allows the dogs to smell 4 to 6 inches above the water," said Dave Holcomb, with Michigan Search and Rescue.

The volunteer search and rescue group said it's a possibility Bob Billingsley jumped off Veterans Memorial Bridge into the river.

"The guy with the dogs feels pretty certain that there's a body in the river. Whether it's Bob or not, he doesn't know," Holcomb said.

The dogs caught a scent a week after Bob Billingsley went missing.

"We had two certified cadaver dogs at the point where the river turns and we were getting a lot of interest, but we did not get what we call a trained indication," Holcomb said.

There is no foul play suspected in Billingsley's death.

His family is asking for donations to help pay for the funeral. Click here to find their gofundme page.

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