Authorities ID one of two bodies recovered from Willamette River

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office identified one of two bodies recovered from the Willamette River in Eugene Wednesday night.

Posted: Dec 24, 2020 2:11 PM
Updated: Dec 25, 2020 7:02 PM

GLENWOOD, Ore. -- The Lane County Sheriff’s Office identified one of two bodies recovered from the Willamette River in Glenwood Wednesday night.

David Schenderlein, 60, of Eugene was found dead alongside a teenage girl whose identity was not released due to her age.

A spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office said they received a report of a raft in the Willamette River near the Interstate 5 bridge around 3:30 p.m. When search crews arrived, they found the bodies of Schenderlein and the teenager in the water. They determined the two were on stand-up paddle boards, not a raft as initially thought.


The Lane County Sheriff’s Office and the Lane County Medical Examiner’s Office are investigating the deaths.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased as they grieve," the sheriff's office said. 

According to his Facebook page, Schenderlein was a teacher at Lane Community College. 

Kim Forrest, a member of the Middllefork Willamette Watershed Council, said it's important to wear life jackets and - in the winter - a wetsuit. 

"When there's downed trees in the water and you get close to them, you can get stuck on them and it's very impossible to get free," Forrest said. "So your craft can get stuck to that, whether it's a kayak, or a drift boat, or a raft, or an inner tube, or paddle board. It can immediately submerge you."

Schenderlein and the teenager's paddle boards were found caught in a downed tree. 

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