Woman’s body found in Bear Creek

07/22/2014 5:43 PM

07/22/2014 9:38 PM

A woman’s body was found in Bear Creek about 5 p.m. Tuesday, near 28th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Merced, police reported.

The identity of the woman has not been determined, according to Sgt. Scott Skinner.

Police said they saw no obvious signs of trauma, but an autopsy will be done to establish cause of death. Police said it’s too early to determine whether foul play is involved.

The body was discovered by James Ragus, 59, who was riding his bike along Bear Creek when he saw something in the water. Ragus said he wasn’t sure what it was until he took a closer look. “I was confounded,” Ragus said. “Was I actually seeing what I thought I was seeing?”

Ragus said he flagged two teenagers nearby, who confirmed it was a body floating facedown in the creek. “I started saying, ‘No,’ ” said Mateo Samuelson, 16, one of the boys who saw the body. “I was terrified.”

Jared Rodriguez, 14, was also present when the body was discovered. “I was speechless,” Rodriguez said.

The Merced County Sheriff’s Department dive team was called to the scene, and the body was removed from the water about 6:30 p.m. Detectives canvassed the area after finding the body.

Police are asking anyone with information to call Detective Chris Russell at (209) 385-6912. Tips are kept confidential and you can remain anonymous. Tips can also be sent via anonymous text message by dialing “TIP411” and using the word “COMVIP.”


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