Deputies: Body recovered from Kings River possibly man who went missing overnight

Local News

The body of a man was recovered from the Kings River Saturday afternoon, according to the Kings County Sheriff’s Office.

The body is possibly the man who went missing in the river overnight near Highway 41 and Lincoln Avenue.

The spillway was flooded to lower the water levels in the river to help find the victim, and a drone spotted him not too far from where the search began.

“He was my best brother ever and i’m going to miss him,” says Erica Gomez, Jose’s sister.

A family in pain, as they watch Kings and Tulare County Sheriff’s Deputies search and recover the body of their loved one, 31-year-old Jose Gomez.

“He was always there for me, he was mine and my kids rock,” Gomez cried.

According to deputies, Gomez went missing around 2 a.m., after deputies say he attempted to ride an inflatable raft in the spillway rapids of the South Fork of the Kings River, in the Stratford area.

“He tied himself to the hand rails put the raft in and what happened when he jumped into the water the raft gave way and the bottom broke out of it,” says Com. Kris Zuniga with the Kings County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say Gomez’s cousin was with him and tried to jump in to save him, but couldn’t.

“The water was moving so fast and the water so cold that it started to take him under but he was able to get out,” says Zuniga.

Deputies say with the help of the Tulare Water District shutting the water off and lower the water levels, they were given a two-hour window to search.

“The drone ran the canal and spotted him about 1,800 ft from where he went in,” says Zuniga.

Gomez’s family holding onto each other. His mother says he was good man and loving father of two.

“He cared a lot for his two daughters, he did whatever he could for them,” says Minerva Gomez.

His older sister says as inviting as the water looks, it’s dangerous.

“(I) just want to remind everyone to be safe around water this summer,” says Crystal Guerrero.

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