Officials probe circumstances of submerged car, man
August 21, 2008
FALLON – Authorities looking into the circumstances surrounding a vehicle found submerged in Lake Lahontan on Wednesday report the body inside the vehicle was a man.
Lt. David Jones from the Department of Public Safety Investigative Division said an autopsy will be conducted in Washoe County to determine the identity of the deceased person. He added the approximate age of the man is not being released at this time.
“The ongoing investigation leads us to believe there is no foul play,” Jones said, adding the man may have driven into the lake.
The vehicle was pulled from the lake Wednesday afternoon.
Authorities are awaiting the victim’s toxicology report from Washoe County as well as the DNA findings. He mentioned there is a backlog of DNA cases in Washoe County so the results could take some time.
Jones said it was not hard to determine who owned the vehicle that was found in the northeast side of the lake.
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“We know who the vehicle belongs to, but it does not mean that is the person located inside the vehicle,” he said. “In all likelihood, it is someone that is known to the family.”
However, he added, the body is badly decomposed and not easily identifiable.
Jones said he does not know how the car was discovered, but added if the vehicle had been underwater for some time and may have been submerged when water levels were higher.
The Churchill County Sheriff’s Office is serving as the coroner in the case, while the Nevada Department of Public Safety is responsible to determine what happened and if any criminal activity took place.
Jones said it could take several weeks before identifying the body.