UPDATE: Eau Claire Police identify body found in Chippewa River

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Police have released the name of the body found in the Chippewa River last week.

Eau Claire Police tell WEAU 13 News the body found on Friday afternoon was 17-year-old Williamefipanio Hessel.

Hessel has been missing since April 23 after struggling to stay afloat while swimming with friends.

Full release from Eau Claire Police:
On April 23, 2019 at 7:28 p.m., the Eau Claire Police Department was notified of a person in the Chippewa River near Domer Park. The initial information was a teenage male was swimming in the river and struggling. Officers and personnel from the Eau Claire Fire Department (ECFD) responded to the area.

The river and surrounding area was immediately searched. Rescue personnel were unable to locate the missing person. Officers were able to review public safety camera footage and locate the teen in the water and observed where he was last seen. Eau Claire Police Officers contacted and interviewed the missing person's friends. Officers learned the teen and three acquaintances were jumping off the cliffs at Mount Simon Park into the Chippewa River. The missing teen swam further into the river, became distressed and could be heard calling for help. Sight was lost of the missing teen and rescue personnel were immediately called.

The missing teenager was identified as Williamefipanio G. Hessel DOB 7/4/2001. Hessel is a City of Eau Claire resident and student in the Eau Claire Area School District. On May 17, 2019 at approximately 1:30 pm, an Xcel Energy employee saw a body in the water just feet from the dam. The Eau Claire Police Department worked corroboratively with the Medical Examiner's Office and positively identified the body as Hessel. The Eau Claire Police Department is also working closely with the Eau Claire Area School District. The Eau Claire Area School District will have grief counselors available for students.

Our thoughts remain with Hessels' family and friends.