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Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department
Monday October 16th, 2023 :: 04:19 p.m. PDT


Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Dive Team Recovers Unidentified Drowning Victim from Stanislaus River

Riverbank, Ca -


The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team has recovered an unidentified drowning victim from the Stanislaus River.  


On Sunday, October, 15, 2023, at 11:32 p.m., patrol deputies responded to the Stanislaus River in the 3900 block of Topeka St 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.  Our office has still not positively identified the middle-aged black male adult who drowned in the river.  We 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 would like to speak with members of this person’s family in hopes other circumstances surrounding his death can be better understood.  We 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 testings through the California Department of Justice will provide more insight.  Those results will not be known for quite some time, however.  


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

Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department
250 Hackett Road
Modesto, CA 95358

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 209-567-4401

SGT Luke Schwartz
Patrol Ops - SOC
[email protected]

3900 Topeka St
Riverbank, CA 95367

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