9-1-1 call details Packers coach Philbin's son falling into frozen river
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OSHKOSH - Tragedy struck the Packers family as they prepared for their playoff opener against the New York Giants.
Newly-released 9-1-1 calls are detailing the way Michael Philbin, the son of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, fell into the Fox River. He was found dead on Monday.
"I need anybody. I'm at the end of Rockwell Avenue. There's a guy in the river. He fell through the ice," said the caller.
The caller watched helplessly as Philbin struggled in the icy water. There was no way to save him.
"He's too far out," said the caller. "I can see him right now."
Moments later, Philbin disappeared.
The Philbin family and Packers fans everywhere were grieving after the loss.
An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday, but results were not expected to come for at least one month.
Authorities were checking into whether alcohol was involved.
Police said the family did not know Michael was missing until at least 18 hours after he went missing.
The two-day search began Sunday morning at 2:30 a.m. when a security guard on duty at a nearby business alerted police to someone in the water.
"Person heard someone yelling for help and distress and saw what appeared to be a head sticking out of the water," said Oshkosh Police Chief Scott Gruel.
Police sent in divers who searched for two days until they found the body 30 yards from shore.
Officers said Michael went to school at Ripon College, but traveled to visit friends at UW-Oshkosh.
Those friends saw him on Wisconsin Avenue in Oshkosh about 20 minutes before the guard heard the cries for help.
Investigators say that about 18 hours after the first word of someone going into the water, investigators said that friends of Philbin reported him missing while the search was continuing.
"I can say I believe the friends called the family and notified them the same time as police notification," explained Gruel.
Police do not suspect foul play.
"The Philbin family expressed their appreciation, as it helps bring some closure to the family and allows them to grieve in their loss," said Gruel.
Packers General Manager Ted Thompson issued a statement about the death Tuesday morning:
“The Packers family was saddened to learn of the passing of Michael Philbin, son of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe, his wife, Diane, and the Philbin family as they cope with their loss.
"This is an emotional and difficult time for them, and we ask that everyone respect their privacy. All of us in the Packers family share in their grief.”