Glenville man found drowned in Mohawk River

Police: Death likely a fishing accident
Rotterdam Junction volunteer firefighters search the area at Lock 9 where a fisherman fell into the Mohawk.
Rotterdam Junction volunteer firefighters search the area at Lock 9 where a fisherman fell into the Mohawk.

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ROTTERDAM JUNCTION — After approximately a four-hour search for a missing Glenville man, emergency personnel located the body of a 55-year old Kevin Straut Saturday a few miles east of Lock 9 on the Mohawk River.

Lt. Jeffrey Collins, of the Rotterdam Police Department, said Straut’s wife had called the Glenville Police Department Saturday morning at approximately 7 a.m. to report her husband missing. She said he had been out fishing at approximately 6 p.m. the night before. 

Collins said Glenville police checked several spots where Straut’s wife said he might be and found his vehicle parked near Ulrich Drive off of County Highway 103. 

“At that point, they contacted us and we responded and we started checking the area to see if we could locate the man. We also did a ping on his cellphone, which put him as of 7 p.m. yesterday in that approximate area,” Collins said. “We continued the search. If you walk behind Anthony’s Restaurant on 103, there’s a path that leads down right to the bridge/lock, and there’s kind of a flat declining concrete area into the water where it was determined the man was fishing.”

Police located some of Straut’s clothing, as well as his fishing gear, including a tackle box, at that location. 

Photos: Scenes from the Saturday search

Justin Homburger of Burnt Hills said he was fishing near the lock at about 7:30 p.m. Friday night and he saw Straut’s fishing equipment. 

“When we got down to the lock we saw a little tackle box, a hat and a tape measure. At first, we didn’t think anything of it. We fish down there a lot, and we’ve left things behind there and forgot about it. So, we didn’t think anything of it,” he said.

“Where you fish there, there’s kind of a ramp that goes down to the water, and when you hook a fish, instead of lifting it ten feet in the air to get it up over, you walk down the ramp to kind of swing the fish in, but the water washes up on the concrete, and it gets real slippery, so I think maybe he hooked a fish and slipped on the concrete, and it washed him in. The water runs real fast there, it’s right at the bottom of a dam, so it’s really strong.”

Collins said Straut’s body was found by the New York State Police helicopter team at approximately 1 p.m. 

He said an autopsy will be performed on Straut’s body at Albany Medical Center. Police said they don’t have any evidence criminal activity is involved at this point, although the investigation is continuing. 

“The best indication at this point is that he accidentally fell into the water for some reason,” Collins said. 
Photos: Scenes from the Saturday search

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