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Search and rescue efforts ended Monday after deputies found a body in the Merced River that could be the man who disappeared a day earlier, according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Deputy Daryl Allen, the Merced County Sheriff’s Office Water Rescue and Recovery Team located a man’s body about 400 yards from where a man reportedly went missing in the river Sunday afternoon east of Livingston.
Allen said dive team members found the body at about 8:45 a.m. Monday. The man’s body fits the description of a man reported missing on Sunday, but investigators have not confirmed the identity. The missing man’s name has not been released.
Allen said an underwater robot was used in the search. Fast-moving currents created hazardous conditions for deputies in the water.
Authorities began searching for a man Sunday afternoon after he disappeared from horseback while riding a horse across the river with a friend in the area of Santa Fe Drive.
The Sheriff’s Office said it was reported that the man rode the horse into the water and as the river deepened, the horse lost its footing and began to swim.
The man’s friend told authorities he saw the man go under the water and disappear. Authorities said it is unclear if the man jumped or fell off the horse into the river. The horse swam back to shore without its rider and was not harmed, authorities said.
Authorities suspended the search for the man at about 8 p.m., Sunday, before resuming their search at about 7:30 a.m. Monday, Allen said.