Authorities ask public’s help identifying body found in river

Colorado River stock image, St. George News

SOUTHERN UTAH — Authorities are seeking the public’s help in identifying a body found floating in the Colorado River in Southern Utah.

A commercial rafting guide discovered the body 3 miles downriver from the Westwater Ranger Station northeast of Moab on July 3 at 11 a.m., according to a statement issued by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.

The body was recovered the same day at 2:30 p.m. by Grand County Search and Rescue crews and a Grand County Sheriff’s Office investigator.

The decedent, who is believed to have been in the river for more than three days, was transported to the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office in Salt Lake City, officials said.

Authorities said they were unable to immediately identify the decedent.

The body is believed to be that of a Caucasian man between the ages of 45 and 55 years old and weighing approximately 240 pounds, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Three distinctive tattoos were found on the body: a tattoo of a man wearing a hat and holding a handgun while standing next to a tree on the upper right arm, a tattoo of a dagger through a heart on the right forearm and a tattoo of a wolf head in a circle with feathers on the upper left arm.

Anyone with any knowledge of who this person may be is asked to contact the Grand County Sheriff’s Office at 435-259-8115.

According to the Bureau of Land Management, Westwater Canyon is the first whitewater stretch on the Colorado River in Utah. The canyon is 17 miles long and includes Class IV rapids. It is challenging at all water levels and is only recommended for experienced boaters.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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