Fruita woman getting mail finds body

Lower Valley Fire Protectiion District firefighters and Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies remove the body of a man discovered in an irrigation canal in the 1200 block of 17 1/2 Road near Fruita on Wednesday.

The body of a man in his early 20s was found in a Fruita irrigation ditch Wednesday afternoon and authorities are trying to identify him.

About 3:30 p.m., according to neighbors, a woman who lives nearby was walking to get her mail and saw the body of a white man at the base of a spillway near the side of a gravel driveway in the 1200 block of 17 1/2 Road. The water in that portion of the ditch is about a foot deep, and the moss-covered rocks and thick grass prevented the body from floating farther downstream.

The man is believed to have fallen into the ditch upstream from where his body was found, said Lt. Jim Fogg of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department.

The brown-haired man appeared to be clean-cut, Fogg said, with no identifying marks or tattoos. He was nude except for a pair of pants bunched around his ankles and a pair of shoes. There was no identification in his pants pockets, Fogg said.

Two members of the Lower Valley Fire Protection District and a Mesa County sheriff’s deputy helped remove the body from the ditch, and Chief Deputy Coroner Kim Hollingshead of the Mesa County Coroner’s Office performed a preliminary examination at the scene, though cause and manner of death have not yet been determined.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Department is asking the public for help identifying the man. Call 970-244-3500 with any information.


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