On Thursday October 20, 2011 at about 0830 hours, Hoopa Valley Resident Deputy David Brooks was conducting an unrelated case follow up in the Orleans area. He was approached by a concerned party who wished to report seeing a suspicious vehicle on Ishi Pishi Road, near the Sandy Bar Ranch. Deputy Brooks completed his follow up and drove to the described area where he located a Toyota sedan. The driver’s door of the vehicle was open and the windows were rolled down. Inside the vehicle were multiple items of value, fishing poles and fishing equipment.
Deputy Brooks searched the area and looked over an embankment that was approximately 200 feet above the Klamath River. At that location was evidence that lead Deputy Brooks to believe someone may have fallen down the embankment (disturbed dirt and broken vegetation). The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team was requested and responded to the area. At 1352 hours, the body of a male was found in approximately five feet of water, at the base of the same embankment. The body was extricated from the water and the Humboldt County Coroner was called.
There was no evidence of foul play found at the scene. Based on a collaborative effort between the Coroner’s Office and Sheriff’s Office, the death is being investigated as an accidental or possible medically related death. Evidence recovered from the vehicle showed the victim had pre-existing medical problems. It is not know if these conditions contributed to the fall.
The name of the victim is not being released at this time as the victim’s family has not been located for notification by the Coroner. It appears the decedent is a resident and citizen of Northern Ireland. The Coroner is currently working with the United States Embassy in Northern Ireland to locate and notify family members or next of kin. Once that is completed, requests for the victim’s identity can be made through his office.