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UPDATE: Peoria Kayaker Found Dead in Illinois River

A Peoria woman is dead after she fell into the Illinois River while kayaking Thursday.

Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell said 45-year-old Sarah Gray was kayaking from the Mossville area to the RiverPlex on Thursday, but told her husband she was turning around because of ice in the river. She never returned.

She was in an 11-foot pink kayak wearing a yellow life vest. Authorities found the kayak Friday morning stuck in the ice on the Illinois River, near Derby Road.

Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood said Gray, an experienced kayaker, somehow fell into the river after freeing her kayak from the ice.

She died of rapid hypothermia and drowned, Harwood said. No foul play is suspected.

The sheriff's office flew drones over the river, assisted by LifeFlight, Illinois Conservation Police, and the Peoria Fire Department.

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