Merced County Sheriff's Department divers recovered a body Friday from a vehicle submerged in a reservoir, about two miles west of the Los Banos Creek Detention Dam.
The person's identity hasn't been released, and the coroner's office will conduct an autopsy this week. Deputy Tom MacKenzie, sheriff's spokesman, said it's still too early to speculate on the cause of death.
The license plate of the four-wheel-drive vehicle matched that of a vehicle belonging to a person reported missing to Los Banos police in 2010, MacKenzie said.
From the position of the vehicle, it appeared to have driven off the road into the water.
Los Banos police are handling the investigation into the missing person and the submerged vehicle, while the sheriff's department is handling the coroner's investigation. Los Banos Police Sgt. Brent Torondo said no new details about the case were available as of Sunday afternoon.
The vehicle was found in a remote area, and divers reached the location by boat. MacKenzie also said a temporary road was made to get back to the site. The vehicle was noticed because water levels had receded to a point where it was visible, and state parks officials called a tow truck company, MacKenzie said.
The sheriff's dive team responded after the tow crew noticed a possible body in the car, MacKenzie said. Divers entered the water and confirmed the remains of a body were in the passenger side of the vehicle.
Sheriff Mark Pazin said the dive team did an "outstanding job" in recovering the body and assisting Los Banos police with an investigation that began nearly two years ago.
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