Vigil held for 2 men missing after boat capsizes in Detroit River

Men missing since Sunday night

A private vigil was held on Monday night for the two men who went missing after a boat capsized in the Detroit River near Grosse Ile on Sunday night around 7:30 p.m.
A private vigil was held on Monday night for the two men who went missing after a boat capsized in the Detroit River near Grosse Ile on Sunday night around 7:30 p.m.

GROSSE ILE, Mich. – A private vigil was held on Monday night for the two men who went missing after a boat capsized in the Detroit River near Grosse Ile on Sunday night around 7:30 p.m.

Officials said 14 people were originally onboard the boat when it turned over. Twelve were saved by a boater who saw everything happening.

Robert Chiles, 52, has been identified as one of the missing men. The other missing person has been identified as Stephen Rooney, 66, who is a priest of a church in Trenton.

UPDATE: 1 of 2 boaters missing in Detroit River found

READ: Search continues for 2 missing men after boat capsizes in Detroit River near Grosse Ile

The vigil on Monday night was held outside the St. Joseph Parish Center. Hundreds of people attended to honor the lives of the two missing men.

Barbara Radeki was a singer for the church and said she knew Rooney well.

“He was just very special. He touched so many people,” Radeki said. “He had such a belief for social justice and helping other people. He was just the epitome of a wonderful priest.”

Both men were described as kind men of faith. People said they were always willing to welcome a friend or help a stranger. Rooney was also known for his wit.

There were also people thinking of Chiles and his three children. The mother of the children died just this past September in a similar boating incident in the same area.

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About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.