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Published On: Mon, Sep 23rd, 2019

Knoxville Police the body of Erik Phillips from the Tennessee River

Police in Tennessee have identified a man who drowned after jumping off a bridge into a river as Phillips.

Erik Phillips knoxville

Erik Phillips

Phillips, 29, was found Friday night in the Tennessee River after he drowned on Tuesday.

Police say they went to Scottish Pike Park on Tuesday to investigate reports of a possible drowning.

Witnesses told police someone who was swimming with friends walked across a railroad bridge, jumped into the Tennessee River, briefly surfaced, but then went underwater and never resurfaced.

KFD assistant chief Mark Wilbanks said crews discovered the body between Skyranch Airport and Riverbriar Road in South Knox County around 8 p.m. on Friday.

“Erik was a close friend to my high school friend group,” Amanda Hamilton wrote in a Facebook post a day before his body had been found. “He had the reputation of being the best skater in Knoxville because he lived for it. He took out all of his anger, pain, passion, and love on his skateboard.

“Seeing the outpour of love for him the past few days has been overwhelming and incredibly heartbreaking.”

A press release sent out later Tuesday night stated:

“An individual had been swimming with friends and walked approximately halfway across the railroad bridge located southwest of Lake Loudon Boulevard and Neyland Drive that extends over the Tennessee River. The individual jumped from the bridge, briefly resurfaced, and then went under the water and did not resurface. As of the time of this release, the individual has not been located. Resources from the Knoxville Police Department, Knoxville Fire Department, Rescue Squad, and the Knox County Sheriff’s Department are being used to search the waterway and the surrounding area.”

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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