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Body of missing teen found in Toledo river

Cary Ashby • Nov 13, 2019 at 6:59 AM

The body of a Norwalk teen was found in a Toledo river on Tuesday afternoon.

Damian Henning, 17, was last seen about 2 p.m. Sunday at Kalahari Resorts in Perkins Township. He worked at the resort as a deep-water lifeguard for about three months.

“As of right now, the subject who was found in Toledo is matching the description of Damian,” Huron County Sheriff’s Office Detective Sgt. Steve Shupp told the Reflector. “Right now, this is an ongoing investigation.”

More details have yet to be released by the Toledo Police Department.

At about 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the sheriff’s office posted on Facebook that Henning had been located, but without any further details.

“We'd like the thank everyone who has shared the posts and provided information regarding Damian Henning,” the post states. “We ask that you please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Henning’s mother, Bonnie Jackson, heard the news from authorities at about 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday

“It’s still an open investigation,” she said. “It’s open because the car has not been located.

“I know he didn’t have any ID,” said Jackson, who said her son left his debit card at home and was wearing swimming trunks. “They ID’d him by his tattoo and a bracelet.”

The tattoo on Henning’s right forearm reads, “seems about right.” 

“That was the last thing his dad texted him before his dad died,” Jackson said.

Fearing the worst

Henning drove a yellow 2002 Ford Mustang.

Jackson said she feared the worst about her son after he went missing.

“I just had a feeling,” she said.

Jackson and her son had a three-minute phone call shortly after he left work on Sunday. She said Kalahari video surveillance showed he drove from the parking lot at 2:21 p.m., and another video from Speedway shows the vehicle nearby six minutes later — but other than that, his family and friends hadn’t heard from him.

Henning’s mother said it was very unusual for her son to be in Toledo.

‘Well-liked’

Henning is a junior at Western Reserve High School.

Western Reserve Local Schools Superintendent Rodge Wilson said it was out-of-character for Henning to not show up for school.

“Totally unexpected,” Wilson said. “He’s very responsible. He’s employed. He gets good grades. This is not like him.”

Wilson described Henning as “a real asset to the building” who is a good student and athlete.

“He is very well-liked,” Wilson said. “Our hearts go out to his friends and family.”

Pinging his cellphone

“We know that phone is laying out there somewhere,” Jackson said, adding she fears the phone is in a median somewhere on Ohio 2.

With the assistance of the sheriff’s office, Verizon “pinged” Henning’s phone. Jackson said authorities determined it most recently was near Ohio 2 and Campbell Street in Perkins Township about 12:30 p.m. Monday. Jackson said authorities are attempting to get nearby video footage from the Ohio Department of Transportation.

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