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Updated: Mon, 18 Aug 2014 20:43:43 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Winnipeg's 'homeless hero' Faron Hall found dead in Red River



Winnipeg's 'homeless hero' Faron Hall found dead in Red River

Family members have identified the man pulled from the Red River on Sunday as Faron Hall, a homeless man known for rescuing a teen from the same river in 2009.

According to police, a man’s body was recovered from the river Sunday evening, just hours after police discovered the body of a 15-year-old girl who had been killed.

Police had been searching for the man’s body since Friday, when a swimmer was seen in distress in the Red River. An off-duty police officer jumped in and tried to rescue him but was unable to.

Police have not confirmed the man whose body was recovered Sunday was Hall’s, but family members say it was Hall.

Winnipeg police do not believe the death is suspicious or that foul play was involved.

Hall had been released from jail on an assault charge not long before he was seen in distress in the river.

Hall's family said he had just lost his father and was having a hard time dealing with it. 

Hall was well known in Winnipeg for rescuing a teen from the Red River in 2009. He had jumped into the icy river in May 2009. He was later awarded the mayor's medal of valour by Sam Katz for his bravery.

He would make a second rescue several months later when two friends were drinking and ended up in the river. He was able to save one, but the other died.

For his efforts, he received two commendations from the Royal Lifesaving Society. That day, he donated $1,000 to Main Street Project, a Winnipeg homeless shelter, from a national fund for the homeless set up in his name.

In 2010, Hall was badly beaten in a government-owned apartment block in Winnipeg on Christmas Eve. He said the people who attacked him recognized him from the media attention he had received. 

Two people were later arrested in the case, and Hall became an advocate for the city's homeless, who he said had a lack of support when trying to overcome addictions.

Most recently, Hall was jailed for five months on a charge of assault with a weapon. 

In April, Hall apologized for his actions in court and admitted he struggled with alcohol. 

Hall told the court he was dealing with depression that followed the death of his friend in the September 2009 rescue attempt.

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