NewsCovering Kern County


Coroner: John Wooner ID'd as body found in SUV pulled from Kern River

Posted at 3:16 PM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 19:01:21-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — According to the Kern County coroner the body found in a SUV that was pulled out of the Kern River over the weekend has been identified as missing former McFarland City Manager John Wooner.

The coroner's report stated 57-year-old Wooner died at the scene, however an autopsy will be performed to determine just how he died.

The former McFarland City Manager had been missing since May 14 and was last seen visiting Hillcrest Cemetery.

Bakersfield police immediately opened an investigation searching for him.

McFarland City officials were initially hopeful for Wooner's quick return but eventually placed him on paid administrative leave for more than a month. David Tooley, the former city manager in Madera, has been been filling in as interim city manager.

In a statment City of McFarland said:

The City of McFarland offers its condolences to the Wooner Family. Mayor Manuel Cantu asks all citizens to offer their prayers in support of the family.

Wooner's photo and bio is still up on the city's website.