Blaine man’s body found

by Joe Carlson

A Chicago police diver discovered a body Tuesday thought to be a Minnesota man who had traveled to Illinois to watch Gophers basketball and disappeared over the weekend.
The body, found in the Chicago River about 2:45 p.m., was still awaiting final identification Tuesday night from the Cook County Medical Examiner. Surveillance camera footage led authorities to search the area, said Chicago police spokesman Kevin Morison.
Police have strong suspicions it was Trevor Hoheisel’s body that came to rest in a small isolated section off the main river, which runs just outside the sports bar where he was last seen.
The 27-year-old Blaine resident went to Chicago with his roommate and longtime friend Brian Erickson, the last person to see Hoheisel alive. Following the Gophers’ loss Saturday night, the two men met several friends at a sports bar called Dick’s Last Resort less than two blocks from their hotel. The area was characterized by one relative as “an excellent neighborhood.”
Hoheisel reportedly left the bar alone about 11:30 p.m. Saturday night. Morison said footage from the camera, which pans east to west, shows a figure standing near the river in one frame. However, the figure is gone seconds in frames taken seconds later.
“It swung around to take the west view, and then when it swung around several seconds later to give the same east view, the figure was no longer there,” Morison said.
Police saw no obvious signs of foul play on the body, Morison said. It is not known whether alcohol played a role in the death.
Erickson, who stayed at the bar to talk with friends after Hoheisel left, reported him missing early the next morning.
Family members traveled to Chicago to help in the search, including Riley Hoheisel, father of the suspected victim and superintendent of Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted school district in southern Minnesota.
“Brian and Trev decided to come down kind of on the spur of the moment because the Gophers won the second game,” Riley Hoheisel said.
He said his son was a major Gophers fan, partly because his friend Erickson had been an equipment manager for the men’s basketball team three years earlier.
“He just loved the Gophers,” Riley Hoheisel said. “They had done so well in the first two games, and he came to support them.”
Hoheisel grew up in Braham, Minn. and worked for a construction company in the Twin Cities.
— Staff Reporter Andrew Donohue contributed to this report.