Man drowns in Des Plaines River after rescue attempt in Joliet; 2nd drowning this week

A 39-year-old Joliet man drowned in the Des Plaines River after first responders tried to rescue him.

The victim — identified as Cesar Robles by the Will County coroner’s office — was the second drowning victim in the far southwest suburb in two days.

Crews were called after 7 p.m. Monday for a man in the water near the Jackson Street drawbridge, Joliet police said in a statement.

Responders spotted him in the river and tried to pull him out, but he submerged under water and didn’t resurface, police said.

Robles was found dead in the water about 9:40 p.m. after a search that included the U.S. Coast Guard, officials said.


Another person jumped into the river on Sunday, but crews were unable to locate a body, according to Joliet Fire Chief Greg Blaskey.

A bridge tender at Cass Street Bridge heard splashing in the water but couldn’t see anyone, Blaskey said. There were foot prints in the snow leading to the edge of the water, he said.

Divers were called about 6:20 p.m. and searched the river for four hours, but couldn’t find anyone.

Blaskey said he’s never responded to two consecutive drownings in two days in his 34 years in the department.

The department will continue searching for a body, he said Tuesday.