Hero Down: LaSalle County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Underwood Found Dead In Vehicle
Grand Ridge, IL – LaSalle County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Underwood was found dead inside his vehicle on Saturday morning, after he failed to respond when contacted over the police radio.
Deputy Underwood, 40, was also a part-time officer with the Seneca Police Department and the Marseilles Police Department at the time of his death, WSPY reported.
His fellow deputies discovered his body near the intersection of North 21st Road and East 22nd Road, in a rural area of Grand Ridge, according to the News Tribune.
A request for emergency assistance went over the radio at approximately 6 a.m., The Times reported.
The coroner’s office and LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) officials said that foul play is not suspected in Deputy Underwood’s death, which remains under investigation, according to WSPY.
Deputy Underwood joined the LCSO as a corrections officer in 2010, and began serving as a patrol deputy in 2014, the department said in a Facebook post.
“We remember Brian as being very dedicated to his law enforcement profession and always striving to meet the highest expectations,” the post read. “Brian had a genuine desire to help people…[he] made many great friends and touched many lives in a positive way.”
“On behalf of Sheriff Tom Templeton and the entire staff of LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office, we would like to extend our sincerest condolences to Brian’s entire family, especially his wife, Ashley, and their two children during this time of great loss,” the department said.
Sheriff Templeton said that he felt honored and privileged to have worked with Deputy Underwood for the past eight years, the News Tribune reported.
“He was sincere,” the sheriff told The Times, recalling the day Deputy Underwood interviewed for the job. “He didn’t come in and give us any kind of interview that would bring us to any other conclusion than he sincerely wanted the job.”
Deputy Underwood’s wife, Ashley, said he had a “passion” for law enforcement, and that he “always wanted to help people.”
"He's going to be missed terribly. Not just by me, but his coworkers, children and just everybody," she said. "The amount of people that have reached out and the lives he's touched is just amazing."
“He will be missed by all those he worked with, but he certainly will not be forgotten,” Sheriff Templeton told the News Tribune.
Deputy Underwood will be laid to rest on Thursday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of LaSalle County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Underwood, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.