Body of missing man found in San Joaquin River

August 3, 2013 2:07:45 PM PDT
Madera County Sheriff's deputies pulled a man's body from the San Joaquin River Saturday.

Authorities say the victim is a Fresno County man who has been missing since Friday night.

Deputies say the man's name is Scott Dennis. He lived at Woodward Bluffs Mobile Home Park. Dennis' family was absolutely devastated, they reported him missing Friday night and they did not think he would be found dead.

Madera County deputies spent Saturday morning along the San Joaquin River, recovering a body and preparing to deliver bad news to family members.

"It appears that it was an accidental death, no sign of foul play or anything," John Anderson the Madera County Sheriff said.

Mike Walker takes his son to play in the San Joaquin River often. Even when swinging from banks and jumping straight into the water they still keep safety in mind.

"It's nice. It's clean water and it's not swift. If you're careful you're good," Walter said.

Terry Dial takes his dog walking along the San Joaquin every morning. The riverbanks are usually busy, and the water always looks inviting, catching many off guard.

"The thing is its 110-120 degrees up here when they're out in the sun, and that water comes from the bottom of the dam. It's really cold, we see kids getting cramps all the time out here," Dial said.

Authorities aren't sure how Scott Dennis drowned. He was last seen near the conservatory around 8:30 p.m. Friday. Dennis was not seen again until Saturday morning when a walker discovered him floating in the water. What happened in the hours in between is not known, but the river has many hidden dangers.

"In some places it maybe 3 or 4 feet deep and some places its 15 to 20 it changes awful quickly," Anderson said. "Quite often are the swimmers tired or steps into a hole the current sweeps them away."

An autopsy will be conducted on Monday. If toxicology is conducted along with the autopsy it may take nearly a week to get the results.


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