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Dive Team Recovers River Drowning Victim

Members of the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team recovered an unidentified drowning victim from the Stanislaus River late night Sunday.

Officials said that on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 11:32 p.m., patrol deputies responded to the Stanislaus River in the 3900 block of Topeka Street in Riverbank for a deceased person found in the water. An emergency call for service was received from transients in the area who reported seeing what they believed to be a drowning victim.

The SCSO Dive Team, along with detectives with the Major Crimes Unit (MCU), also responded to the scene to help retrieve the remains and investigate the cause and manner of death. The department has still not positively identified the middle-aged black male adult who drowned in the river.

Officials said they “have reason to believe the victim was recently treated at a local area hospital, as he was still wearing clothing typically worn by admitted patients.”

Detectives are still actively conducting their ongoing investigation and are hoping to speak with members of the deceased person’s family in hopes other circumstances surrounding his death can be better understood. Detectives responding to the scene did not take notice of any obvious or apparent signs of trauma or injury to suspect foul play.

Preliminary findings of a forensic autopsy suggest drowning was the cause of death. Additional laboratory testing will also be done through the California Department of Justice.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 17, officials with the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office said they had not yet been able to confirm the victim’s identity.

Members of the public are encouraged to contact Detective Juan Rodriguez if they have any information or tips to share. He can be reached at 1-209-558-1282, extension 56774485. Stanislaus County Area Crime Stoppers can be contacted for anonymous reports by calling 1-866-60-CRIME. A free mobile app can also be downloaded at