BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — UPDATE: KCSO has reported that the body found in the well was Jerome Crystian Jr. The cause of death is still unknown at this time.
UPDATE: According to Sgt. Pair with the Bakersfield Police Department, authorities are treating the incident as a "suspicious death."
The man's body we removed from the well on Tuesday afternoon at around 2 p.m. The investigation is ongoing.
Authorities are investigating how a body ended up in a well in Southwest Bakersfield.
According to the Bakersfield Fire Department, the body was found in a California Water Services well inside a pump house located in the New Stine Road area at around 1 pm Monday afternoon. The well had been out of service for several months.
"Yeah, so just before one o'clock afternoon crews were dispatched to a possible body inside of a well, Upon arrival, they did confirm there was a body inside of the well," said Bakersfield Battalion Chief Brian Bowman.
A worker with Well Rehabilitation Services, Inc., a third-party vendor that works with Cal Water, found the body after lowering a camera 200 feet into the well.
At this time authorities do not know how the body got into the well. However, Cal Water had reported a break-in at that location last week.
"We honestly don't know a whole lot at this point," continued Bowman. "Don't know how the person got down there. We do know that last week, Tuesday or Wednesday of last week, Cal Water did report a break-in at this facility. That's the reason that the lock had been cut and that's the reason they were doing the inspection prior to putting the well back into service."
Cal Water issued the following statement: "We operate the City of Bakersfield water system. First, we are saddened by the discovery of the body at the well today. Please know that this well has been offline for repairs since November 2021, and it was NOT being used to serve customers. There is no indication that water quality elsewhere within the system has been impacted, and all of our routine water quality tests have been normal. In an abundance of caution, we’re temporarily discontinuing use of all other City wells within a one-mile radius and working with the State Division of Drinking Water on a quality assurance plan. We’re also cooperating with Bakersfield police on their investigation and will take any other steps needed."