CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS — The body of 35-year-old Cambridge Springs resident Eric J. Royer was discovered floating in French Creek around 2 p.m. Thursday north of a Plank Road bridge.

Royer had been missing since Feb. 21.

An autopsy will be done on the body today to determine a cause of death, said Crawford County Coroner Pat McHenry. Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Michael Goss said the incident is being investigated.

Dennis Atkin, who had been searching for Royer since he went missing, said he felt awful when he learned of his neighbor’s death Thursday night.

“I feel terrible. He’s a neighbor, a good guy,” said Atkin, mentioning that Royer had a wife and four little kids. “He was always nice to me, polite. You couldn’t ask for a nicer neighbor. You just don’t know what goes on.”

Atkin, who was searching for Royer around the neighborhood and in the woods, said he was somewhat relieved when he heard a rumor that Royer had been spotted in Erie. But that hope was destroyed Thursday night when Atkin learned that the body had been identified as Royer’s.

“I hope there is someway to aid his family,” he said. “It’s a terrible thing to lose someone like that. All your hopes, dreams, expectations are gone.”

Around 4:30 p.m., police pulled the body from the water and transported it by boat to shore. Summer cottages dot the shoreline where the body was found. Cambridge Springs Police Department and Cam-bridge Springs Volunteer Fire Department assisted at the scene.

A few hundred feet downstream three fisherman were casting for walleyes.

Russell Chaney of Cambridge Springs was one of those anglers who had no idea what was going on upstream.

He had fished the same spot Wednesday night after he finished his shift at Country Table Restaurant, but never noticed anything suspicious.

“That’s too bad,” responded Chaney, upon learning that the body was found in the creek.

Eric Reinagel can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at

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