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Merced woman's body pulled from Don Pedro Reservoir

Tuolumne County sheriff’s officials this morning released the name of a 25-year-old Merced woman found dead in Don Pedro Reservoir on Tuesday.

A sheriff’s dive team found the body of Jennifer Renee Heiser in the area below Gardner Falls within minutes after beginning the search Tuesday morning.

Her cause of death had not been determined and the incident was still being investigated.

Heiser was reported missing Monday about 6:15 p.m. Nine people were out boating in the Gardner Falls area when they noticed Heiser was gone, said Sgt. Jeff Wilson. Her friends tried to find her, but were not successful. They then decided to go to the marina to report she was missing.

While heading to the marina, Wilson said the boat’s anchor rope became entangled in the propeller, causing the boat to stop abruptly and sink.

Another member of the group, 27-year-old Victoria Aldape of Merced, was seriously injured during the accident, Wilson said. Another boat stopped to take the group to the marina.

Sheriff’s boat patrol deputies searched the surface around Gardner Falls as other deputies searched the shore above the falls Monday night, but they didn’t find Heiser until Tuesday.

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