- Associated Press - Monday, January 9, 2012

OSHKOSH, WIS. (AP) - Investigators searching for Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin’s missing son say they will not publicly identify a body found in a Wisconsin river until Tuesday.

The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department says a security guard at an Oshkosh business along the Fox River saw a man on the ice early Sunday morning yelling for help.

Divers recovered the body of a man between the ages of 20 and 25 from the river Monday afternoon.

There has been no indication that the body is that of 21-year-old Michael T. Philbin, who disappeared Sunday morning after an outing with friends in the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus area.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Authorities were searching for the 21-year-old son of Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin on Monday, a day after he was reported missing following a night out with friends.

Michael T. Philbin was last heard from around 2 a.m. Sunday. Oshkosh Police spokesman Joseph Nichols said one of Michael Philbin’s friends reported him missing at 8:15 p.m. Sunday.

Philbin had traveled from his home in Ripon to Oshkosh to meet friends, Nichols said. They went out together in the campus area Saturday evening but when the group decided to move on to another establishment Michael Philbin apparently chose to stay behind, he said.

Sheriff’s deputies said they pulled the body of a young man between the ages of 20 and 25 out of the Fox River in Oshkosh on Monday afternoon, but they had not confirmed his identity.

Philbin made a cellphone call to one of his friends at 2 a.m. but didn’t say where he was, Nichols said. Philbin didn’t sound as if he was under duress or suffering from any medical issues and the call ended amicably, Nichols said.

But he never returned to get his car on Sunday and never tried to contact anyone, prompting the call to police, Nichols said.

Investigators have checked video surveillance from campus-area establishments, contacted the county jail and area hospitals in hopes of locating him, but so far they’ve turned up nothing. Attempts to track his cellphone were unsuccessful and police in Ripon, about 20 miles away, turned up nothing when they went to his home, Nichols said.

The sheriff’s department said it got a call at 2:37 a.m. Sunday from a security guard at a business along the Fox River. The guard reported he had seen a man out on the ice calling for help, but the man had disappeared. Divers recovered the man’s body around 3 p.m. Monday.

The disappearance comes as the Packers prepare for Sunday’s home playoff game against the New York Giants.

Coach Mike McCarthy said Philbin was in Oshkosh on Monday, and said the team has contingency plans in place if Philbin can’t be there this week.

“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 said.

“The Packers organization is aware of the missing person report regarding Michael Philbin, son of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin,” Packers general manager Ted Thompson said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Philbin family during this difficult time.”

Joe Philbin has been with the Packers since 2003, and has been the team’s offensive coordinator since 2007. He interviewed for the Miami Dolphins’ vacant head coaching job last week.

Michael Philbin was sentenced to six months in jail in 2009 after he was convicted of sexually assaulting two young girls.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide