July 26, 2006

07/26/06: Max Walker, 26, Milwaukee, WI

Max Walker

Max Walker, 26, a former Army Reservist from Davenport, Ia had adjusted well to his return from military duty. After driving a truck in convoy duty in Iraq from 2004 to December 2005, he got back together with his girlfriend and was excited about his new job as an intern for Northwestern Mutual Life. He had been hired by the Milwaukee-based insurance and finance company in December 2005.

On July 26, 2006, the Saint Ambrose University honor student and a colleague were in Milwaukee for the company's annual financial representatives meeting, a convention that draws 9,000 people from around the nation. The educational and business-oriented conference was held at the Midwest Airlines Center and the Bradley Center civic arena. 

A colleague, named Dan, last saw Max about 1:45 a.m. Wednesday outside the Buckhead Saloon, 1040 N. Old World 3rd Street. The saloon is located in a popular downtown Milwaukee night spot and tourist area known as the RiverWalk. A security video camera shows that Max left the bar by himself. Employees at the salon told police that Max appeared to be very intoxicated when he left.

The colleague called the police about noon on Wednesday to report that Max never returned to his hotel room the night before and wasn't answering his cell phone, which was out of character for him.

Max Walker's body was found in the Milwaukee River on Thursday, July 27, about one block from the bar where he was last seen. The Milwaukee River runs behind the bar. 

Investigation and Recovery

A construction crew spotted Max Walker's body on Thursday, July 27, floating in the Milwaukee River beneath the State Street bridge, at a spot not far from the RiverWalk, one block from the bar where he was last seen. Police said Walker's family was in town from their home near Lincoln, NE. They were able to identify him.

Police said there were no outward signs of trauma or anything to indicate foul play, and that

Walker's death appeared to be an accidental drowning, according to an investigative report compiled by the Milwaukee Police Department. 

According to the report, Walker’s parents told police their son did not drink frequently, but when he did, they said he “easily loses his balance, he falls and once he even fell backward and hit his head. When he is intoxicated, he has an extremely difficult time walking, talking, finding direction.” In the report, Lt. Gary Schuster wrote that he told Walker’s mother, “I felt that her son probably walked to the end of the RiverWalk and slipped at the edge of the short concrete barrier.

Max Walker's mother has stated that her son was not
a swimmer and was very afraid of water.

An autopsy was scheduled for Friday, July 28, 2006, and the details have not been released.

Max Walker served with the 308th Transportation Co. based out of Lincoln, Ne. He was interviewed for a Dec. 4, 2005, Quad-City Times article about the war, which he returned from in March 2005.

Walker was a finance and economics major at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Ia, where he made the spring dean's list. He was also a 1998 graduate of Grand Island Senior High in Grand Island, Ne.

Case Details
Name/age: Max Walker, 26
College: St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA
Major: finance and economics major, honor student

Residence: Davenport, IA
Hometown: Grand Island, NE
Last Seen: July 27, 2006 Buckhead Saloon at 1040 N. Old World Third Street
Recovered: July 27, 2006, Milwaukee River near Old World Third Street
Cause of death: probable drowning
Manner of death: probable accident


Staff article. (2006, July 29). Iowa student's body found in the Milwaukee River. The Daily Reporter. Retrieved March 19, 2013 from http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1907&dat=20060729&id=abZGAAAAIBAJ&sjid=4_0MAAAAIBAJ&pg=4240,1729864
Brecht, Tory. (2006, July 29). Ambrose student's death likely an accident. The Quad-City Times. Retrieved March 19, 2013 from http://qctimes.com/news/local/ambrose-student-s-death-likely-an-accident/article_3f060dc2-005a-55b1-a99f-8944ae5296a8.html

Schulz, Sarah. (2006, July 28). GISH graduate, Iraq War veteran found dead in Milwaukee. The Grand Island Independent. Retrieved March 19, 2013 from http://www.theindependent.com/news/gish-graduate-iraq-war-veteran-found-dead-in-milwaukee/article_237f33ef-34ad-502e-ab6e-e1cd317b535f.html

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