Body pulled from Delaware River is missing Bridesburg man

The body of Joe "Babe" McGee­han, miss­ing since Sat­urday, Jan. 7, was found Sunday.

The search for miss­ing Brides­burg res­id­ent Joe “Babe” McGee­han came to a sor­row­ful end on Sunday when a vo­lun­teer search crew pulled his body from the Delaware River ear where his Jeep was found two weeks ago.

Ac­cord­ing to Stephanie Maude, a cous­in of McGee­han’s who helped co­ordin­ate a search for the miss­ing man, his body was found just feet from where his 2007 black Jeep Liberty was pulled from the river near Un­ruh Av­en­ue in the North­east on Jan. 10.

She said that through work­ing with the Garden State Un­der­wa­ter Re­cov­ery Unit, a vo­lun­teer group, search teams were able to re­cov­er McGee­han’s body.

Those latest ef­forts began on Sunday, Jan. 22, at about 7:25 a.m., Maude said.

About an hour later, the team re­covered the 31-year-old man’s body.

“We went out and they just dove in,” she said. “With­in an hour, they had him.”

Maude ex­pressed frus­tra­tion with the search ef­forts of the Phil­adelphia olice, say­ing that the vo­lun­teer unit was able to do what the po­lice were not.

“I can nev­er ex­press how grate­ful I am to the Garden State Un­der­wa­ter Re­cov­ery Unit,” she said.

The wa­ter tem­per­at­ure was only 23 de­grees, she said, not­ing that the vo­lun­teer team “went above and bey­ond.”

McGee­han, who lived with his sis­ter near Har­bison and Tor­res­dale av­en­ues, was last seen after he left Cal­lo­way’s Ir­ish Inn at Cottman Av­en­ue and Row­land Street, driv­ing east­bound to­ward Frank­ford Av­en­ue.

McGee­han re­portedly was head­ing to the Wissi­nom­ing Yacht Club, at 5100 Dever­eaux St., to meet friends. He nev­er ar­rived.

His vehicle was found sub­merged in about 19 feet of wa­ter and had front-end dam­age, in­clud­ing a smashed wind­shield and miss­ing head­lights and bump­er.

McGee­han’s body was re­leased to the Phil­adelphia Med­ic­al Ex­am­iner’s Of­fice. The of­fice had yet to re­turn calls from the Star to learn wheth­er in­vest­ig­at­ors had de­term­ined the cause of McGee­han’s death.

Ser­vices for Joseph “Babe” McGee­han will be held on Thursday, Jan. 26, at the Mc­Caf­ferty Fu­ner­al Home, 6711 Frank­ford Ave. Friends may call from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Buri­al will be in Holy Sep­ulchre Cemetery. 

McGee­han is sur­vived by his par­ents, John and Helen Anne; two broth­ers, John Paul and Mi­chael; and six sis­ters, Sta­cey, Joanann, An­gel, Debbie, Melissa and Anna. ••

Re­port­er Hay­den Mit­man can be reached at 215-354-3124 or hmit­ 

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