Body removed from water is not that of missing 22-year-old

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The Marion County Coroner confirmed Friday the body of a young man found in retention pond on the city's north side was not that of a young Avon man who has been missing since early November.

When the Swalls family heard the body of a white man was found in a retention pond behind the Kroger at 65th and Keystone, they drove there, fearing what they would learn.

"I thought it was my son," admitted Dan Swalls when he got the news.

The Swalls family drove to the pond's location Friday night and refused to leave until they knew for certain.

The family of Joshua Swalls told Eyewitness News they asked recovery teams to look for specific tattoos on the body found in the retention pond to determine if it was, in fact, Swalls. Those tattoos were not there.

22-year-old Joshua Swalls was last seen at a friend's apartment at Lakewood Lodge near 65th and Keystone on the morning of November 4th.

His family had the same retention pond where the body of a man was found Friday searched days after Swalls disappeared. At the time, divers found a fleece jacket, but could not link it to Swalls.

The family has organized 4 separate ground searches within 5 miles of the area where he was last seen.

The Swalls family said they do fear the worst. "We're not going to leave anything unturned. Obviously the longer this goes, you know, unfortunately, the worse we have to think," said Dan Swalls.

Swall's family said his cell phone and shirt were both left at his friend's apartment, along with his car.

They also said his bank account had not been used since he disappeared. They explained that Swalls had been out on a first date with a woman earlier that night before leaving to go see his friend.

"Typically, if someone's missing and they're alive, they're found rather early, so its rather difficult to think positive. We always think positive, but its very challenging and of course, during our searches, we've searched every area, every avenue, " Dan Swalls added.

Dan Swalls said they spent the Thanksgiving holiday praying Joshua would be found and brought home.

"I can't say how much it hurts right now. It's been really difficult. It's hard to concentrate on work. It's hard to come home every night and sit here." said Dan Swalls.

The family has started a web site and facebook page both called Find Joshua Swalls.

Meantime, the coroner says the body recovered from the bond does not contain tattoos known to be on Swalls. The victim is that of a young white male in his early 20's.

The coroner will conduct a full autopsy starting Saturday morning in an effort to identify the body found Friday afternoon. A witness walking from the Kroger store passing the bond called 911 after spotting the body floating in a fenced in pond near the North Keystone location.  

Alfie Ballew, a coroner's office spokeswoman, says they hope to identify the body, knowing that another family will grieve the loss of a loved one.

There are no known IMPD missing persons reports that match the description of the body found. The coroner's office will use several options in identification process which may or may not include DNA, fingerprint and dental records.

The coroner's office also wants to hear from anyone who may have a missing person fitting that description to contact law enforcement immediately.