Son of Packers Coach Called Pal Before Falling in River
(OSHKOSH, Wis.) — The son of Green Bay Packers coach Joe Philbin made a “non-distress” phone call to a friend shortly before he was heard shouting for help as he apparently tumbled into the icy Fox River, officials said Tuesday.
Investigators do not suspect foul play in the death of Michael Philbin, but are trying to determine whether alcohol was a factor.
Police said they will not know the cause of death until autopsy and toxicology results are returned in about four weeks.
Michael Philbin, 21, was reported missing Sunday around 8 p.m. after not returning to the residence in Oshkosh, Wis., where he was staying, police said. Philbin was visiting friends at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and made a phone call around 2:10 a.m. Sunday morning from the area around the river. Police said the phone call was a “non-distress” call and are asking anyone that was with Philbin at the time to come forward with information.
A security guard at a nearby business called the police department around 2:30 a.m. Sunday after hearing someone shout for help and seeing someone near the river, police said. Police, fire and dive team patrols searched the area, but did not find anyone on Sunday.
A fresh search was conducted on Monday and the body was found around 3:15 p.m., according to police officer Joseph Nichols.
Nichols said temperatures had been unseasonably warm in the Oshkosh area — 50 miles from Green Bay — and that there was only a little bit of ice around the edge of the river.
Police are trying to determine whether Philbin was drinking the night of his death and are trying to put together a timeline of his last hours alive, according to new information released on Tuesday.
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