Updated: October 8, 2013 2:39AM
The identity of the decomposed body found Wednesday in the Des Plaines River in Riverwoods is that of a man reported missing by his family earlier this week.
Deputy Chief Coroner Orlando Tortillo said Ronald Kite, 69, was identified through dental records. The coroner’s office has several decomposed bodies of people found in their homes awaiting autopsies and those cases can be difficult and depend on how fast they can get things like dental records and an expert to match them.
“Decomposition occurs faster in water because of the water bacteria,” he said, but he could not give an estimate of how long Kite had been dead. A cause of death is pending toxicology reports, which take 10 to 12 working days. He said there were no obvious signs of trauma.
Coroner Thomas Rudd said it was unusual for his office to have a backlog of deaths, that include overdoses, traffic accidents, and presumed natural deaths at homes where the person was not found right away.
“We have been inundated with eight deaths in the last 12 hours. We’ve had a pathologist working here since 9 a.m. who hasn’t stopped, but we are backlogged,” said Lake County Coroner Thomas A. Rudd.
“The cases we’ve been getting are not routine and the people have been found several days after death, so its difficult to identify them because of their state of decomposition.”
Rudd also noted that he had to call in a dental specialist to perform the examinations and that person only showed up about 4 p.m., so his staff will be working overtime.
Riverwoods police found the body of an unidentified man in the Des Plaines River south of Deerfield Road Wednesday, Aug. 7, after receiving the report of someone in the water at 4:38 p.m.
They closed the eastbound section of Deerfield Road between Milwaukee Ave. and Sanders Road to traffic for about four hours as they combed the site.
Deerfield police stated they were considering the possibility that the man removed from the river could be resident Ronald Kite, 69, who was reported missing Monday by his family.
He had last been seen about 4 p.m. Sunday in the Deerfield Post Office on Osterman Avenue.
Kite, had served as a substitute teacher in Deerfield Public School District 109 from 2003-2010, according to the school district.
His family said he had retired, and may have been suffering from depression.