Body found near Arvin canal is identified, cause of death was drowning

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A body found inside a grate near a canal in Arvin was identified as 18-year-old Alejandro Pantoja, officials said.

The autopsy has been completed and the cause of death is drowning and the death was ruled accidental, officials said.

At about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday deputies from the Lamont Substation responded to a possible vehicle in a canal.

When Deputies arrived they found a vehicle submerged in a canal located about one mile east of Rockpile Road and Sunset Boulevard, officials said.

The submerged vehicle was possibly related to a recent missing person case being investigated by the Arvin Police Department.  The Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Dive Team responded to the scene and was able to confirm there were no occupants in the vehicle, officials said.

The vehicle was removed from the canal and processed for evidence.  

A short time later officials from the Arvin-Edison Water District discovered a body floating in the canal about a one half mile north of where the vehicle had been submerged.

The dive team was able to recover the body of Alejandro Pantoja, 18.

If anyone has information on this case they are asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 661-861-3110.

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