Body in Kern River Canyon identified as missing woman Rita Bello, died by suicide

Posted at 4:02 PM, Apr 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-18 14:25:51-04

UPDATE (May 18, 2017 11:21 a.m.): According to the Coroner's Office, Rita Bello's cause of death was drowning and her manner of death was suicide.


The body of Rita Bello, the woman who went missing in the Kern River Canyon on March 6, was found in the Kern River Canyon.

According to Sheriff’s Investigators, Bello was with her boyfriend before she disappeared.


As per KSCO, her boyfriend says that Bello was taken to the hospital earlier in the day. After she left the hospital, she called him to get her disabled car. He claims that Bello voluntarily went looking for her keys in the Kern River. That's when she was swept away.

Officials have ruled out Bello’s boyfriend as a suspect. But, her loved ones were desperate for answers. Close friend, Lena Guerra, doesn’t believe that she would voluntarily go into the water.

Increased water levels hindered search efforts and her body was discovered April 7, 2017 and only positively identified on April 27, 2017.