UPDATE: Body in Putnam Park identified


Photo by Nate Beck

Police responded to a report of a dead body Tuesday.

The body found Tuesday afternoon in Putnam Park has been identified as UW-Eau Claire sophomore psychology student Caleb Gustafson from Hager City.

UW-Eau Claire dean of students, Joe Abhold, notified students via email Wednesday, the morning after Gustafson’s death.

“It is with great sadness that I inform you of the loss of one of our fellow Blugolds, Caleb Brian Gustafson, who passed away recently,” the email read.

Around 40 people, plus Abhold and representatives from Counseling Services gathered in Bridgeman Hall to remember Gustafson and comfort each other Wednesday afternoon.

Lynn Wilson, director of Counseling Services, told the group it’s healthy to have a discourse when someone dies, and to reach out to both the school channels and each other for support.

“When people experience an unexpected death like this, there’s a lot of emotions that can be experienced,” Wilson said. “There’s no right or wrong way to experience death or a loss.”

UW-Eau Claire Police Lieutenant Jay Dobson also spoke to the group, reiterating that it was an investigation of a death and the police are working at it right now.

“There’s a lot of information I’d like to share,” Dobson said. “Everybody is anxious.”

UW-Eau Claire Police received a report at 4:39 p.m. Tuesday of an adult male, who appeared to be in his 20s, found in a pond near the Putnam Drive tunnel that runs under State Street, according to a UW-Eau Claire media release.

Authorities do not suspect foul play or danger to the university or community, according to the release and email.

Campus police and Eau Claire Fire and Rescue were dispatched to the scene Tuesday. The body was transported to HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital. An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday, according to the release.

This story was updated at 7 p.m. April 22.