UPDATE | March 2012 | According to local press reports Michael Philbin’s blood alcohol level was .176 and marijuana was found in his system. Officials say Michael fell through the ice and drowned. His cause of death has been ruled accidental.
The tragic death of Michael Philbin, son of Green Bay Packers coach Joe Philbin, is raising many questions and new awareness surrounding the mysterious drowning deaths of dozens of college-aged men.
The families and friends of other men who disappeared and were recovered in water are closely watching developments and praying the Philbin family gets answers.
Here is what ABC News is reporting:
Michael Philbin, the 21-year-old son of the Packers offensive coordinator, was reported missing Sunday by his family. League sources told ESPN that a body recovered from an Oshkosh, Wisc., river on Monday was identified as the missing son.
The body was discovered after an employee at a nearby business reported hearing cries for help from someone on the icy Fox River around 2:30 a.m Sunday. 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.
Packers coach Joe Philbin spent Monday in Oshkosh, where his son had been reported missing after an outing with friends at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus, according to ESPN. Michael Philbin is the second-oldest of six children.
“The Philbin family’s obviously going through a tough time right now, and as we always have, we’re a family-first philosophy with our organization, with our program,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said early on Monday. “So we’re supporting Joe and his family the best we can, and we’re holding out hope that this comes to a positive conclusion.”
McCarthy noted that he had plans in place to prepare for Sunday’s NFL playoffs NFC Divisional round against the New York Giants if Philbin remained away from the team, ESPN reported. The Packers are seeded first in their division.
“We’re prepared to do whatever we need to do as a staff to make sure our team’s ready to go,” McCarthy said. “We’ll be ready to go.”
Packers players offered supportive messages on Twitter throughout the day.
“As children we all have to someday say goodbye to our parents, but a parent should never have to say goodbye to their child,” said offensive lineman T.J. Lang.
Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji wrote that “life is too short.”
“Live in the present,” he tweeted.