The Desert IndependentTM

Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001


Man Missing in River, Deceased

By Robert Winkler
The Desert Independent

June 13, 2012

BLYTHE, Calif – On Tuesday June 12 at about 5:19 p.m. officers of the Blythe Police Department responded to the “five points” area on the Colorado River, regarding a missing person. When officers arrived they were met by two females who reported that a friend of theirs, who had been swimming in the river, had disappeared.

The female reported that a 22 year old male had walked out into the river, and began floating down stream. The male had been behind her, but when she turned around she could no longer see him. After checking the area a few minutes on their own, they called police to report the incident.

Units from Blythe Police Department and Blythe Fire Department responded, and began searching the area, along with units from the Ehrenburg, Arizona Fire Department, La Paz County, Arizona Sheriff’s Department, and River Medical. Units from the Ehrenburg Fire Department Dive team and Blythe Police Department Marine Bureau began search operations on the river, and were assisted by a Care Flight helicopter.

At about 7:00 in the evening, the Care Flight helicopter located what appeared to be a male under water, approximately two miles south of the “five points” area. Units on the river responded to the area, and were directed by the air crew. Divers from the Ehrenburg Fire Department located the male who was brought aboard the fire department boat where CPR was begun. He was then transported to the boat ramp at the KOA campground, where additional medical crews were waiting. Additional attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

The Riverside County Coroner responded. An initial examination at the scene showed no signs of an altercation or foul play. An autopsy and toxicology exam, which is routine in these types of cases, is pending.

The name of the male is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin.

Blythe Chief of Police Steve Smith extended his condolences to the family of the victim. He also noted that while the outcome of the search was certainly not what was wished for, the response from agencies on both sides of the river was inspiring and greatly appreciated.

Anyone with information about this or any criminal activity is urged to contact the Blythe Police Department at (760) 922-6111. Information can be given anonymously by calling (760) 921-CARE.

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