Missing Chicago Pastor Found Dead in Car Pulled from Des Plaines River

The remains of a missing Chicago pastor were found after a week. Authorities confirmed that the body of 53-year-old Warren Beard was discovered in his car, which was pulled from the Des Plaines River in the South Suburbs on Tuesday.

Beard, last seen in Joliet on July 2, was the assistant pastor and Sunday school teacher at New Israelite Missionary Baptist Church. He was well-loved by his community.

“This is not how we wanted this to end, but unfortunately, it has,” said Rockdale Fire Chief David Brady.

Beard’s car was found in eight feet of water, with his body in the front seat. An alert from Chicago police led authorities to his vehicle near the closed Brandon Road Lock and Dam. Security footage showed the car traveling south on Brandon Road, navigating around a barricade, and driving into the river under a raised drawbridge.

The murky river water made the rescue efforts difficult, requiring divers and sonar.

The Illinois State Police and Chicago police are now leading the investigation. An autopsy will be performed on Wednesday, but it could take weeks to determine the cause of death.

ABC 7 Chicago contributed to this report.

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