Body found in river identified as ex-NFL player James Hardy

James W. Hardy, 31, was found in the Maumee River at the Hosey Dam in Fort Wayne, Ind., Wednesday


FORT WAYNE, IN (WANE) — An autopsy has confirmed the identity of a body found in the Maumee River Wednesday as that of James W. Hardy, 31, of Fort Wayne.

The coroner’s office was not able to determine Hardy’s cause and manner of death. WANE confirmed his family reported him missing to police on May 30.

Police and fire rescue crews were called to the Maumee River at the Hosey Dam in Fort Wayne, Ind., Wednesday on a report of a possible body in the water there. Michael Joyner, FWPD Public Information Officer, said an employee with the City’s water Filtration Plant conducting his regular rounds made the discovery as he walked along the catwalk and called police.

The Maumee River runs from northeastern Indiana into northwestern Ohio and Lake Erie

Hardy was a former multi-sport standout at Elmhurst High School and runner-up for Indiana’s Mr. Basketball. He ended his career as one of the most prolific scorers in Fort Wayne high school basketball history with only Deshaun Thomas and Bryson Scott having tallied more points.

He graduated in 2004 and then went on to play football and basketball at Indiana University. During his time at IU he quit basketball to focus his efforts on football. He owns IU receiving records for career receptions, yards and touchdowns.

Hardy was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2008 after entering the draft following his junior year. He also played for the Baltimore Ravens before being released in 2011.

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