View of Fox River

View of Veteran's Island Park in the Fox River in Aurora (Google map / July 7, 2012)

The apparent drowning of a 52-year-old Aurora man in the Fox River yesterday evening appears to be accidental, police said today, although the death investigation continues.

According to the initial investigation, Gene Autry Pryor of the 900 block of Oliver Avenue was with three adult friends, a 36-year-old woman and two men, ages 48 and 43, in an area off Veteran's Memorial Island just south of the Illinois Avenue Bridge between Routes 31 and 25 in Aurora.

The adults apparently had been drinking alcohol for an extended period of time and a little before 7 p.m., Pryor had jumped into the water in an attempt to cool off, police said in a release.

His friends lost sight of Pryor after several minutes, and eventually saw him floating face-down in the Fox River.

Police said the two men pulled him ashore, where paramedics found him unconscious and not breathing. They attempted to revive him and he was taken to Provena Mercy Medical Center in Aurora, where he was pronounced dead at 7:35 p.m.

Preliminary investigation finds there does not appear to be any suspicious circumstances involved in the death, according to Aurora police. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday at the Kane County Coroner's office.

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