Second body found in Fresno canal in less than a month, authorities search for answers

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – In a span of a few weeks, a second body is recovered from a Fresno canal. Fresno police say a man’s body was located by authorities shortly after 1:00 p.m. Thursday near Maroa Street and Dayton Avenue where the canal passes through Fig Garden.

At this time, there are very few details about the man who was recovered, other than authorities pronounced him dead at the scene shortly after his body was removed.

Less than a month ago, a Fresno woman died after falling into the canal near Peach and McKinley avenues, and just last week Fresno firefighters couldn’t find a man who was reportedly seen jumping in the same canal. The Fresno Police Department Public Information Officer Lt. Rob Beckwith said authorities had to navigate the canal’s current before locating the man.

“The direction of the current, the body continued floating in a westbound direction and rescue personnel were able to locate that body where the canal parallels Dayton and College,” said Lt. Rob Beckwith with the Fresno Police Department.

A spokesperson for the Fresno Fire Department says the man who reportedly jumped in the canal last week was never found. Fire authorities don’t think the man found Thursday afternoon is the person they were looking for, but say nothing will be for certain until detectives identify the man.

“It’s still too early to tell, we don’t know why the person was in the canal,” Beckwith said. “We don’t have any identification on that person. That’ll be something that they’re [detectives] working towards trying to determine.”

While the cause and manner of death of the man is still not determined, a longtime resident near the canal says she sees people swimming in the canal frequently. 

“It’s often, especially in the summer when the weather heats up,” said Tyra Hernandez.

Hernandez has lived near the Maroa bridge over the canal for almost a decade. In that time she says multiple bodies have been recovered from the canal there, and that she and her husband often see children swimming in the canal. She warns the community to look out for themselves and others. 

“I walk every day on the canal and I always keep a distance because you can easily trip and fall,” Hernandez said. “It’s so dangerous in there and people just, they take chances, and they go in and they don’t come out.” 

This is an active investigation and will be updated as more information is made available.

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