JEFFERSON COUNTY ILLINOIS
OBITUARIES

Freddie Downen
BOY, 17, DIES OF GUN WOUND NEAR SESSER
Freddie Downen Found Dead In Woods Near His Home Today.

SESSER, III. (AP) - A 17 year old boy - the object of a search 
Friday night and early today - was found dead in woods near his 
farm home four miles north of here. The youth, Fred Downen, was 
shot once through the heart with a .22 caliber rifle. Franklin 
County Coroner Barney Browning said it was apparently a suicide. 
A stick was stuck in the trigger of the rifle. About 150 persons  
friends neighbors and law enforcement officials searched Friday 
night and this morning before finding the body. The boy went 
hunting Friday about 3 p. m. the boy was the son of Mr. and Mrs. 
Charles Downen. The Downen family resides at Emerson City, south 
of Waltonville, on RFD Scheller and near Sesser. Jefferson county 
authorities said the youth went hunting alone, with his .22 rifle. 
His body was found in a thicket about a half block from home. When 
members of the family returned home from a basketball game at 
Waltonville, he had not returned from the hunting trip. Becoming 
worried, they organized a searching party with neighbors, and late 
last night notified county officers and state police the body (sic) 
was missing. The body was taken to the Brayfield Funeral Home in Sesser. 

Funeral arrangements were incomplete. Freddie was born 
September 1, 1940 near Sesser, the son of Charles and Leida Downen. 
Besides the parents he is survived by three brothers, Jimmy, Ernest 
and Stephen, all at home; two sisters, Patsy and Susie both at home; 
and the grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Downen and Mr. and Mrs. 
Edmond Bates, all of Sesser. 

Source: The Mt Vernon Register-News
Date: Saturday, December 7, 1957
Submitted by: Robert W. Loman


Open Verdict Is Returned In Death Of Downen Boy A coroner's jury last night returned an open verdict in the death of Fred Downen. 17, who was found dead from a gunshot wound last Saturday, in a woods near his home in southern Jefferson county. After an inquest conducted by Coroner Ray Heflry, the jury ruled that the youth died from a gunshot wound inflicted in an undetermined manner. The Downen youth had been hunting Friday afternoon near his home, four miles north of Sesser, with a .22 rifle. His body was found in a woods near his home the next morning. A bullet had pierced his heart. Source: The Mt Vernon Register-News Date: Wednesday, December 11, 1957 Submitted by: Robert W. Loman

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