DROWNING DEATH: 23 Year Old Dies During Retreat

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Authorities have released the name of a 23 year old man who drowned in Madison County Saturday afternoon.

Ryan Woodward was a part time student at Simpson College.

He was on a religious retreat at Wildwood Hills Ranch in St. Charles with fellow members of the Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship.

He was swimming with a friend shortly before 3 PM.

That’s when the Madison County Sheriff’s office says he became tired and went under water.

Witnesses say they heard several shouts for help.

By the time lifeguards and friends reached his location, they couldn’t find him in the murky water.

Divers found his body around 4:30 PM.

Woodward was pronounced dead minutes later.

“Drownings always seem to be a little more tragic. We don’t have many in the county. In my 29 years here, we’ve had three or four. It’s been two or three years since we’ve had one,” said Sheriff Craig Busch of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

Employees at Wildwood Hills Ranch say this was the first drowning on the property.