Coroner faces struggle to ID man found in river

A decomposed body pulled from the Colorado River on Saturday was that of an apparent indigent male in his late-40s to 60s, who may have been in the river “weeks to months,” according to the Mesa County Coroner’s Office.

“There are no obvious signs of foul play,” said coroner’s pathologist Dr. Robert Kurtzman.

An autopsy showed signs of chronic alcohol abuse, Kurtzman said.

The body was reported around 10 a.m. Saturday washed up on a sandbar on the Colorado River in the general area of Power Road. A pair of transients in the area called authorities.

With the body’s severely decomposed state, Kurtzman said it may prove difficult to determine positive identification. No presumptive ID materials, such as a driver’s license, were found on the body.

Kurtzman said the man had two distinctive tattoos that could help with an ID.

The man had an apparent Medieval broadsword, along with several snakes, on his left forearm. In the same area, he had tattooed an ornate dragon.

The Coroner’s Office said in a news release the man was Caucasian, approximately 5 feet, 9 inches tall, 160 pounds, possibly balding and had a moustache. The man had three remaining lower teeth, which were in poor condition.

He was wearing a blue jean, fleece-lined “Matrix brand” hooded jacket; size 32-34 Levis 501 blue jeans; size 9 1/2 black hiking boots; and a white or tan shirt with “Lucky” scrawled on the front.

Anyone who may recognize the man is asked to call the Mesa County Coroner’s Office at 256-6462 or the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department at 244-3500.


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