Coroner IDs man found dead along Great Miami River in Fairfield

Credit: Matt Rourke

Credit: Matt Rourke

A 39-year-old man has been identified as the person found dead Sunday in the Great Miami River behind Waterworks Park in Fairfield.

James L. Tirey, of Fairfield, drowned, and his death was ruled an accident, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office.

Officers responded to the riverbank at 5:38 p.m. for a report of a deceased person in the river. The male body was removed and taken to the Butler County morgue, police said.

Fairfield police were first notified via a 911 call by a visitor to the city on the bike path along the river. The caller made the call after she left the area, indicating they were initially flagged by a person who spotted Tirey’s body.

Police say investigators are now laying out a timeline to understand Tirey’s movements prior to his death.

This was the third body to be found along the Great Miami River in the region in recent weeks. Human remains found in Franklin on Sunday were identified as a man who had not been seen since June 21. The Warren County Coroner’s Office confirmed the remains are those of William “BJ” Middleton Jr., 37, who was residing at a campsite along the river.

Middleton was reported missing July 4, according to Franklin police. Chief Adam Colon said a drone launched by Texas EquuSearch spotted the skeletal remains at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday as they were searching for him.

The remains were severely decomposed after being in the river for a period of time, he said. Mike DeBorde, chief investigator for the coroner’s office, said Middleton’s identity was confirmed through his fingerprint.

His death is under investigation.

On June 30, a man’s body was found in the Great Miami River near Dayton Cincinnati Pike and Shepard Road in Miami Twp. The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office is still working to identify the person.