KERN COUNTY, California – Kern County search and rescue crews have removed a silver Dodge SUV from the Kern River Sunday afternoon. A man’s body was found inside.
The recovery came along Highway 178, about three miles into the canyon. The California Highway Patrol says the county coroner will identify the man found inside at a later time.
However, the California Highway Patrol says the SUV recovered is the one they were looking for. It is the vehicle registered to the city of McFarland.
The CHP was dispatched to Highway 178 just east of the Sandy Flat Campground around 1 p.m. Saturday.
On Saturday, a sergeant on scene reported that the vehicle has been in the water for a while and is visible now only because water levels have dropped about three feet in the last week.
Triple temperatures, rocky terrain and the raging current prevented crews from removing the SUV Saturday but crews returned to the scene Sunday morning for extraction.
In May, McFarland city manager John Wooner went missing in his silver Dodge Durango after he was last seen visiting Hillcrest Memorial Park.
That cemetery is just 11.1 miles from where the submerged vehicle was removed.
CHP has closed one lane and is directing one-way traffic.
This is a developing story and will be updated.