Body ID’d as Montrose DJ

A body found Saturday in a canal south of Montrose was that of a disc jockey last seen July 1, Montrose County Coroner Thomas Canfield said Monday.

Canfield said the death of 48-year-old Ricky D. Steele was an accidental drowning.

The coroner said circumstances of the body’s recovery, characteristics of the body, dental records and an autopsy performed Monday all helped in confirming identity. Canfield said the results of a toxicology report aren’t yet known, but alcohol and drugs are not suspected factors in Steele’s death.

A Montrose County Sheriff’s Department deputy on patrol reported the body around 9:30 a.m. in the South Canal near Uncompahgre Road, which Canfield said is approximately 12 miles downstream from where Steel’s Ford Ranger pickup was found abandoned July 2.

Steel was last seen the evening of July 1 along the canal near Miguel Road.

A search over the days and weeks that followed at one point involved the Colorado National Guard, volunteers from the Montrose area and Steele’s co-workers at KBNG 103.7 FM, as well as its sister stations, KUBC 580 AM talk radio and KIX 94.

Janine Mayfield, news director at the three stations, on Monday offered thanks to community members, the Montrose Sheriff’s Department and Posse, who were involved in the search.

“May the fun loving guy that we knew in our hallways and inside our radio always be remembered,” Mayfield wrote at


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