The body of an adult man was discovered floating in the Delta-Mendota Canal near Gustine on Saturday, the Merced County Sheriff's Department reported.
The department's dive team responded to the scene about 12:30 p.m. and recovered the body near Sullivan Road and Interstate 5.
Witnesses reported the body north of Newman, and the department's helicopter located it, according to Sgt. Scott Dover. Because the body was reported on Stanislaus County's side of the canal, the investigation was turned over to the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department.
Royjindar Singh, Stanislaus County sheriff's spokesman, said the body appears to be a Latino man in his 30s or 40s. The Stanislaus County coroner's office is scheduled to conduct an autopsy today.
Detectives determined that the body appears to have been in water for at least a month, Singh said.
The department's homicide unit is investigating the case, although the cause of death hasn't been determined.