Death Investigation Underway After Body Pulled From Des Plaines River

A death investigation is underway after an incident in Joliet early Sunday morning. It was at 3:39 AM, Officers were called to Heritage Place Apartments (400 North Bluff Street) for a report of a domestic disturbance.

Officers learned that a female adult victim had been battered by her 51-year old boyfriend. A short time later, Officers in the area overheard a male voice yelling for help which appeared to be coming from the area of the nearby Des Plaines River.

Officers immediately converged on the river in an attempt to locate the individual. The Joliet Fire Department responded to the scene and launched a boat into the water.

An unresponsive male victim was located and recovered from the river by the Joliet Fire Department and the victim was transported to Ascension St Joseph Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased. It was determined that the victim was the same male involved in the earlier disturbance at 400 North Bluff Street. During the investigation into this incident.

Officers learned that the male commented about jumping into the river during the disturbance. The Will County Coroner’s office has identified the deceased male as 51-year-old Rodney Bayless of Joliet.  An autopsy was performed on Sunday, February 5, 2023. Preliminary autopsy results indicated Mr. Bayless had drowned. The Joliet Police Department is investigating the incident. The final cause and manner of death will be determined at a later date pending police, autopsy and toxicological reports.