The body of Shane Montgomery was found in Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River Saturday, the West Chester University student’s family confirmed. The grim discovery by divers late Saturday morning ends a search for the missing 21-year-old that began on Thanksgiving when Montgomery failed to make it home after leaving a bar on Main Street in the city.
A set of keys belonging to Montgomery were found in the river on December 21, providing the first clue as to the possible whereabouts of the student. Montgomery’s body was discovered about 800 yards up the river from where the keys turned up last month.
Though Shane Montgomery was partying at the bar — Kildare’s Irish Pub in Philadelphia’s upscale Manayunk neighborhood — with friends on the night before Thanksgiving, he left on his own in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving day. Surveillance video showed Montgomery walking across a bridge over the Manayunk Canal.
The bridge led to a parking lot on the banks of the river, but how Montgomery ended up in the waters of the Schuylkill remains a mystery.
Though the Montgomery family announced that the body pulled out of the river shortly after noon Saturday was indeed Shane, police have yet to issue an official confirmation of the body’s identity, and no cause of death has been determined.
“Today we did what we promised. We found and brought Shane home,” said the student’s parents, in a prepared statement.
Divers from the Garden State Underwater Recovery Unit found Montgomery submerged in about four feet of water about 10 feet from the bank of the river, behind the Manayunk Street Brewery, nearby to the pub where Montgomery spent much of his last night alive.
The divers, working in frigid temperatures and driving rain, began methodically combing the bottom of the river at about 8 a.m. Saturday morning, finally making their devastating discovery four hours later. Shane Montgomery was wearing the same clothes when his body was found that he wore the night he disappeared, his parents said.
He was wearing only a hoodie-style sweatshirt, despite the frigid temperatures in Philadelphia the night he went to Kildare’s pub. Owners of the drinking establishment said that Montgomery did not appear visibly drunk when he left Kildare’s.
The spot where the body of Shane Montgomery was discovered was less than a 10-minute walk from the pub.
Now that his body has been found, and police continue to investigate his death, the family of Shane Montgomery requested privacy to “mourn together.”