BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — UPDATE (1:07 p.m.)
According to CHP officials, the SUV pulled from the Kern River Sunday morning did have one license plate with damage to it. They also confirmed that it was major collision damage spotted on the front and rear of the SUV. The unidentified deceased man in the SUV was found in the vehicle's rear compartment -- not the drivers seat, according to CHP officials.
CHP, Bakersfield police, and the Kern County Sheriff's office are both working on the case.
The vehicle officials pulled from the Kern River Canyon on Highway 178 on Sunday has been identified as the missing 2012 Dodge Durango registered to the City of McFarland, according to CHP officials.
On Saturday around 1:33 p.m. the Bakersfield Communications Center reportedly got a call that a vehicle "had gone over the side, down the embankment, and fully submerged in the water on Highway 178 inside the Kern River Canyon area," according to officials.
CHP officers and the Kern County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue team were unable to pull the silver Dodge SUV from the river until Sunday morning at around 11:00 a.m.
Officials say they also found a deceased adult male was also located inside the SUV.
An investigation into what officials are calling a collision revealed that the driver of a Dodge SUV was traveling on SR-178 through the Kern Canyon area at an unknown speed in an unknown direction. Authorities say the driver made an unsafe turning movement and the SUV left the roadway and tumbled down the embankment and into the Kern River.
Highway 178 is now completely open in both directions after being partially closed through the Canyon during the recovery process.