Gopher fan’s fall into river judged accidental

Andrew Donohue

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office identified the body of a man found Tuesday in a channel of the Chicago River as Blaine resident Trevor Hoheisel.
Through surveillance camera footage and the night’s circumstances, police detectives have pieced together how they believe Hoheisel tragically ended up in the river.
Hoheisel, a 27-year-old Twin Cities construction worker, and Brian Erickson, a long-time friend and roommate of Hoheisel, traveled to Chicago on Saturday to see the Gophers men’s basketball team in action at the Big Ten Tournament.
Following Saturday’s game, the two caught a taxi to Dick’s Last Resort, a restaurant and bar, because it was located only a block and a half from the downtown Sheraton Hotel at which they were staying.
Once at the bar, the two met up with some old friends. Later in the night, Hoheisel told Erickson he was getting sleepy and left the bar alone at around 11:30 p.m.
Using footage from a surveillance camera located just outside the bar, police detectives have determined that once Hoheisel left the bar, he was uncertain where the hotel was located, because it was surrounded by large buildings of the unfamiliar downtown area.
The camera, which rotates 180 degrees, caught a figure that police determined to be Hoheisel standing near a pier overlooking the Chicago River at the time he was reported to have left the bar. He apparently stopped when he realized he was going the wrong way.
When the camera returned to the pier, Hoheisel was nowhere to be found.
Police believe once he was on the pier, Hoheisel reached in his wallet for his hotel card. Detectives told the family that he must have fumbled with the card in the rainy and slippery night and reached to grab it, causing him to lose his balance and fall into the river.
Hoheisel’s wallet was found near the body, which was located Tuesday afternoon by Chicago police marine unit divers.
His father, Riley Hoheisel, the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winstead school superintendent, said neither the family nor the police suspect foul play.
Trevor Hoheisel had tickets to the Final Four in San Antonio this April, something family members say he was very excited about.
Riley Hoheisel said his son was such an avid Gophers basketball fan partly because Erickson had been a manager for the team three years ago.
“You have no idea how much our son loved sports,” Riley Hoheisel said. “In high school he was the captain of the football, basketball and baseball teams. He loved both competing and watching athletics.”
Hoheisel’s wake is set for Friday evening from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at St. Mary’s Church in Waverly, Minn. Funeral services will take place on Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s.