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Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Body recovered from Red River identified as Faron Hall

Posted: 08/18/2014 7:37 PM | Comments: 0

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The body of Faron Hall has been found in the same river where he rose to celebrity after rescuing a teen.

The body was recovered from the Red River on Sunday, two sources told the Free Press. Foul play is not suspected.

Hall became known as "homeless hero" in May 2009 when he jumped into the Red River to rescue 19-year-old Joseph Mousseau, who had been horsing around on the Provencher Bridge with friends. Hall, an alcoholic who had been living under the bridge, swam about 15 metres into the frigid river to grab the teen.

In September 2009, Hall was drinking with four friends on the banks of the Red River in St. Boniface when one of his friends, a 19-year-old woman, slipped into the water. The woman's boyfriend jumped in to save her, but neither could swim. Hall leaped into the water and managed to save 19-year-old Tara Lynn Beardy. He went back in to try to save her 32-year-old boyfriend, Chris Harper, but he had gone under.

In the months following Hall's heroic efforts, his actions were lauded far and wide. He received the mayor's Medal of Valour and two medals from the Manitoba Life Saving Society. The Winnipeg Foundation set up an endowment fund in his name to give grants to community groups that support the homeless.

But while the world hailed Hall as a hero, he's continued to struggle with personal demons ever since. In February 2010, Hall suffered serious injuries after being attacked by a man he was drinking alcohol with. Darrell Longclaws eventually pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to 30 months behind bars. Longclaws mistakenly thought Hall had sexually assaulted a female friend they were drinking with, then used a table leg to brutally beat him, court was told.

A member of the Dakota Tipi First Nation, Hall has said he grew up in a good foster home in Waverley Heights and worked as a teaching assistant before he became an alcoholic. His mother was murdered on Maryland Street about a decade ago, and a sister was stabbed about three years ago. He has four children, including a stepdaughter.

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