Hurricane man’s cause of death remains unknown after van found underwater at Newcastle Reservoir

After Brian Head Marshal's deep-water dive team discovers Bill Bowden's 2002 black Kia van in Newcastle Reservoir, it gets pulled out, Newcastle, Utah, May 30, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff's Office, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Hurricane man’s death remains a mystery after a vehicle registered to the man he was with the night before was pulled out of Newcastle Reservoir.

Local, State and county officials respond to the scene where the body of Andrew Rowe, 53, was found deceased in Newcastle, Reservoir, Newcastle, Utah, May 30, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

According to a press release issued by the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, at around 8:45 a.m. Saturday, Cedar City dispatch received a call that several people, who were recreating, had pulled a deceased man out of Newcastle Reservoir.

Iron County Sherriff’s Office, Beryl Ambulance, Bureau of Land Management Law Enforcement, the Utah Medical Examiner’s Office and a deep-water recovery dive team from the Brian Head Marshal’s Office responded to the scene.

Local mortuary personnel transported the body to the Utah State Medical Examiner’s office for an autopsy.

The deceased man has been identified as Andrew Michael Rowe. The 63-year-old man who was believed to have been with Rowe was identified as Bill Bowden. Both men are reported as residents of Hurricane. According to the statement, Bowden told investigators that he and Rowe were at the reservoir to camp and go fishing. After setting up camp on Friday night, the two started drinking and became very intoxicated.

Bowden told investigators that the next morning, “he only remembers waking up in the water and crawling over rocks on his way back to shore,” according to the statement.

The tip of Bill Bowden’s 2002 black Kia van emerges from the surface of Newcastle Reservoir, Newcastle, Utah, May 30, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

On scene, Bowden filed a stolen vehicle report and said he believed Rowe stole his vehicle, a black 2002 Kia van, as it was no longer parked at the campsite. He was later transported to Cedar City Hospital by ambulance for minor feet and leg injuries.

Later that afternoon, at around 1:48 p.m., the deep-water recovery dive team discovered Bowden’s van some 200 feet from shore and about 15 feet below the water’s surface. The van was confirmed to be registered to Bowden and was pulled out of the water and towed back to the Cedar City Sheriff’s office for further examination.

Iron County Sheriff detectives are still investigating evidence to determine how the van ended up in the reservoir. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in this incident. The cause of manner of Rowe’s death remains pending.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!