SHANNON JOYCE NEAL, Grand Junction (CO) Sentinnel
A man separated from his canoeing partner may have drowned in the
Colorado River Saturday, the Mesa County Sheriff's Department
A sheriff's department statement said three kayakers found the body
of a 43-year-old man at 4:30 p.m. in the area of the river near mile
marker 17 of Interstate 70.
Deputies spoke with a man who said he had been separated from his
canoeing partner earlier in the day and deputies believe the victim
may be the missing canoeist.
The man involved in the accident was walking up and down the banks of
the river looking for his friend and had not yet reported the
accident, said sheriff's department spokeswoman Janet Prell.
Neither canoeist was wearing a life jacket at the time of the
The victim had not been positively identified, and few details about
the accident were available Saturday.
The statement said officials continued to investigate the
circumstances surrounding the man's death, and an autopsy will be
conducted to determine the exact cause of death.
The death isn't believed to be suspicious, Prell said, but any death
that isn't attended by an physician must be investigated by
Prell said the sheriff's department has several river boats it uses
in water rescues, which are staffed by deputies and the Mesa County
Search and Rescue Team.