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Updated: Local man found dead on ice in Middlebury gorge

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury police are investigating the untimely death of a Middlebury man found deceased on the ice of the Middlebury River in East Middlebury on Sunday evening.

Police responded to a report from East Main Street of a missing man at around 10 minutes before 6 p.m., on Jan. 23. Several people in cars stopped near the Route 125 bridge over the gorge to watch police recover the body of 55-year-old Gregory Danyow of Middlebury, which was found on an icy stretch of the river.

Police on Monday morning were not speculating on how Danyow got on the ice. They told the Independent that Danyow’s death is not considered suspicious, and that an impending autopsy could reveal more about the circumstances surrounding his death.

After police identified Danyow’s body on the ice, members of Middlebury Fire and Technical Rescue, aided by Vergennes firefighters, used ropes to descend into the gorge because of the steep and icy gorge walls. Then the firefighters had to carefully make their way up the frozen waterway, being careful not to fall through any ice shelves into the cold river underneath.

“It was sketchy at best,” said Middlebury Fire Chief David Shaw, who noted that his members had undergone many hours of training.

There were 23 people involved in the recovery effort, which took about three hours.

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