Metra: Teen's Body Found Days After Being Struck by Train

Authorities are searching the waters of Hickory Creek in an attempt to find the missing teen

Authorities say that they have located the body of a teen who had been missing since he had been struck and killed by a Metra train on Wednesday in south suburban Joliet.

According to Metra, the body of 15-year-old Charles Cooper was spotted in Hickory Creek on Saturday afternoon. Cooper’s body was found three and a half miles from where he had been struck by a Metra train on Wednesday night near Joliet’s Pilcher Park, and rescue workers were able to pull his body from the water Saturday afternoon.

Officials positively identified Cooper’s body on Saturday.

Cooper and two other teens were walking along the Metra tracks on Wednesday evening at approximately 7 p.m. when a train struck at least two of them. Cooper, and 17-year-old Jacob Manka, were both killed in the collision, while a third teen was able to escape without being hit by the train.

The search for Cooper’s body was complicated by rapidly-moving water in Hickory Creek, and the search had to be called off multiple times due to darkness and weather, according to authorities.

"Don't go on the tracks, don't play on the tracks," a Metra official said Thursday. "Trains are faster than you think. They're quieter than you think, and it's just dangerous." 

Metra spokesman Tom Miller told the Chicago Tribune the group was trespassing on the train tracks on the bridge, and were seen running from the train as it approached.

The agency is urging residents to stay off train tracks, warning that it is against the law to walk along or cross tracks outside of designated areas.

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