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79-year-old Altoona man found dead in Rockford, Ill. identified

Altoona Police Chief Kelly Bakken said several people of interest in the case were taken into custody.
Altoona Death Investigation Underway
Altoona Death Investigation Underway
Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 4:49 PM CDT
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - The Altoona Police Department is identifying the Altoona man found dead in Rockford, Ill. on April 12.

79-year-old Dennis R. Schattie was found in the Rock River near the Fordam Dam in Rockford on the morning of April 12.

Altoona Police Chief Kelly Bakken said Friday in a release that several people of interest in the case were taken into custody and interviewed, and two of those people remain in custody on unrelated charges to the death investigation.

The Winnebago (Ill.) County Coroner determined the death to be suspicious due to the injuries to the body, according to a release.

Rockford Police, Altoona Police, Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory and the Wisconsin Department of Justice Department of Criminal Investigation executed a search warrant on a home on St. Andrews Drive in Altoona on April 14 and 15. The Wisconsin State Patrol used forensic mapping technology to document the scene.

The investigation is active in Altoona and Rockford. Law enforcement said it is believed to be an isolated incident and the public is not in danger. Bakken on Friday said the investigation is “complex” and touted the “tremendous” collaboration between departments.

The location and manner of the man’s death are not being released pending the results of a written autopsy report, Bakken said. The man was identified by his fingerprints. Investigators do not know how long the man was in the Rock River before being discovered Tuesday morning near the Fordam Dam in Rockford. WIFR in Rockford reported on April 12 that the body was found in the 600 block of Race Street in Rockford on the rocks near Fordam Dam and that the Rockford Fire Department assisted with recovery.

No missing person report was filed for the man, Bakken said. Investigators have not yet released a motive or names of the people involved or in custody pending further investigation.

Bakken said that Altoona is “a very safe community” and that it had been a number of years since the city had a homicide, and said she hopes to keep it that way.

Rockford Police are asking that if anyone has information regarding this incident to contact the department at 815-966-2900, on Facebook at @RockfordIllinoisPoliceDepartment or Twitter @RockfordPD. An anonymous tip can be provided to Rockford Area Crime Stoppers at 815-963-7867.

Altoona Police are asking the public if they observed any suspicious activity in the St. Andrews Drive area over the past two weeks to contact them at 715-839-4972, at Crime Stoppers at 715-874-TIPS (8477) or the mobile app or online.

Police launch an investigation Tuesday after man was found dead near the Rock River.
Police launch an investigation Tuesday after man was found dead near the Rock River.
Altoona investigation
Altoona investigation(WEAU)

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