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Body found in Kanawha River identified as man who escaped police custody

A body found in the Kanawha River Saturday has been identified as Howard Stiltner. File photo shows Riverside Drive near where the body was recovered. (WCHS/WVAH)

A body found in the Kanawha River near Riverwalk Plaza in South Charleston has been identified as a man who escaped police custody.

The body of Howard Stiltner of Prennar was recovered near Riverwalk Plaza, according to a news release from the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office. He was 43 at the time of his arrest.

The sheriff's office said Stiltner was found with his hands handcuffed behind his back. He escaped custody of the South Charleston Police Department Aug. 3. His body was found two days later.

Stiltner had been arrested on a charge of obstructing an officer, but he ran from the patrol car while being booked. Officers searched through the night with K-9 assistance, but were unable to locate him. Because Stiltner had given a fake name and date of birth, his identity was unknown until Monday, the sheriff's office said.

The medical examiner said it appears drowning was the cause of death. There was no trauma to Stiltner's body.

The matter is still under investigation.

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