After spending the night of Saturday, Feb. 13 at a wedding reception at the All Star Lanes at 4735 Mormon Coulee Road, Meyers went to two downtown bars in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He was last seen at approximately 1:50 a.m., after his cousin dropped him off on the 700 block of Market Street. The area where he was dropped off is on the south side of the city, just 9 blocks from his residence. Meyers was reportedly intoxicated and believed he was being dropped off at his girlfriend's residence, which is actually on 16th Street. He was not seen again until February 16, when his body was recovered from the Mississippi River.
Meyers was a criminal justice student at Western Technical College in La Crosse. Prior to college, he attended West Salem High School where he was a state champion wrestler. More than 600 people showed up at an event at the college to remember the much-loved student.
Footprints believed to be belonging to Myers (right) were found leading from a snow bank "between the Marriott Courtyard and the Riverside Center Buildings out onto ice-crusted river," according to the La Crosse Tribune. According to the Courier Life News, "student volunteers and police reserves keep watch in Riverside Park between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. on weekends, said La Crosse Police Lt. Bob Berndt, but neither group patrols as far south as where the footprints were found."
Authorities searched the Mississippi River area after a dog tracked Meyers' scent to the ice on Monday (2/15). The ice on the river is at least 6 inches thick in some places, "thin and crumbly in others," and there is open water further out, reported the La Crosse Tribune. Family, friends, former high school acquaintances and local law enforcement canvassed the river area and downtown La Crosse on foot. Firefighters and divers also drilled holes in the ice and lowered down underwater cameras on Monday, Feb. 15.
The Search for Craig Meyers
The Meyers family received news on Monday, Feb. 15 that police had found signs that someone had tumbled down the riverbank behind the Marriott Courtyard. Video surveillance footage captured by the Sara Lee Bakery on Sunday, Feb. 14 shows a man matching Meyers' description walking alone and headed west on Cass Street in downtown La Crosse.
A preliminary autopsy on February 18 showed that Craig Meyers died as the result of a cold water drowning. Acute alcohol intoxication (a blood alcohol content of 0.28 was noted at that time from a urine test) and hypothermia were contributing factors. There were no signs of trauma to the body.
Final autopsy results released March 3 showed that Meyers had a blood alcohol content of 0.19, which is more than twice the legal limit for driving. According to WTMJ Newsradio, "physicians say the blood test is a more accurate determination of intoxication than a urine test, which put Meyers' alcohol concentration at 0.28."
Anyone with information in this case is asked to call the La Crosse Police Department at (608) 785-5962.
Name/age: Craig J. Meyers, 21
School: Western Technical College (criminal justice major)
Last seen: 02/14/10, 2 a.m.
Recovery: 02/16/10, Mississippi River
Findings: Coldwater drowning with acute alcohol intoxication and hypothermia, 0.28 BAC, no signs of trauma
Physical Description: 5'6", 165 pounds, brown, hazel eyes. Last seen wearing a light-colored long-sleeved collared shirt, black pants and black leather jacket.
Originally posted: 02/14/10