Body Found in Meramec River is Christopher Marks

Police say Christopher Marks' body was found in the Meramec River about six miles east of where he disappeared.

The body of Christopher Marks was found between 4:30 and 5 p.m. tonight at the Allenton boat ramp access near the dock, about six miles east of where Christopher was last seen, according to St. Louis County Police Officer Justin Sparks.

A crime scene unit was deployed to the Allenton access area, Sparks said.

Updated at 7:55 p.m. with confirmation that the body found is Christopher.

Authorities identified the body as Christopher Marks, per an advisory issued by St. Louis County Police Officer Rick Eckhard at 7:18 p.m. Eckhard stated everyone now must await the medical examiner's report before additional details can be released.

The body was reported to have been found by Todd Combs, Christopher’s stepfather. Christopher was at the river with about seven children, ranging in age from 12 to 16 years old, and Combs, when he disappeared.

Alcohol was present, and family said Christopher had been drinking.

St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch at a Tuesday afternoon press conference from the investigation site confirmed that .

While it seems highly unlikely that the currents were fast enough to transport the body, police officers are still circling the air and trying to determine the speed of the currents.

Experts said the river's current near where Christopher was last seen was not very strong because of the lack of rain. 

Police will do a reconstruction of events as part of the investigation, Sparks said.

The autopsy should show a time of death and possible other clues as to the cause of death. The time of death could help police understand whether the body was transported by water or by other means.

Patch is on the scene, and we will update the story as we learn more.

For more, here are the articles we've done so far, most recent last:

Teresa K. August 07, 2012 at 11:45 PM
I was hoping for a different outcome. To Christophers family and friends: I am so very sorry for your loss, if this is him. that said: I would be curious to know if alcohol played a role in this. A 12 yr. old had no business imbibing and someone MAY need to be held accountable.
Cindi Jones August 07, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Oh for pity's sake if you are sending condolences, send them, but don't criticize them as well. Let them grieve. Jeez. To Christopher's family - our family's thoughts are with you.
Layla Azmi Goushey August 07, 2012 at 11:57 PM
My heartfelt condolences to Christopher's family.
Julie Brown Patton (Editor) August 08, 2012 at 01:26 AM
From being with Chris' family for the past two days, our Patch hearts and thoughts are with you as you try to cope with the unthinkable. So sorry.
Jacqueline Harrison August 08, 2012 at 02:32 AM
I am so sorry the family's loss. Chris is friends with my son Jadon, I remember him being a happy funny kid. This is so sad, I am praying for the family.
MoonBabe August 08, 2012 at 03:54 AM
It is unbelievable how quickly things can turn around. A happy, friendly kid one day to being found dead in a river the next day. My prayers are with the family at this time. And no matter how little each of us feels we have, may we all be thankful for what we have. Amen.
KAS August 08, 2012 at 04:24 AM
I am so sorry for your family's loss. May God continue to bless and keep your family through these trying times. I, just like many others will continue to pray for you. Keep your faith and be stong for eachother!!!
Tracie Janik August 08, 2012 at 10:29 AM
I was so praying for a different outcome with this little boy. My heart is breaking for the family. Please know that you are all in my prayers . My the Lord wrap you in his arms and watch and comfort you all in your time of need. RIP little Christopher, may angels watch around you keep.. 0:*
Tammy Riley August 08, 2012 at 05:12 PM
May God comfort your family and friends Christopher. May you rest in peace now, AMEN.
Matthew August 08, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I don't understand why it took so long to find the body. The police seem ignorant in this case. When I heard they were searching the area near the swing i wondered why. I have been in that river and the current is pretty strong. I'm surprised he was only six miles from where it happened.
Matthew August 08, 2012 at 07:48 PM
I feel bad for the family. Sorry for your loss. Don't worry though, this life is a blink when compared to eternity. Anyways, I hope other families learn from this and don't let a 12 year old drink. I'm still confused on how they couldn't figure out that a body would drift down stream. Maybe they should of put a cadaver in the water and see where it went...


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