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Orange County Digest

Anaheim : Divers Recover Body From Pool Beside River

May 23, 1986|Barry S. Surman

Divers found the body of a 22-year-old Santa Ana man at the bottom of a catch basin alongside the Santa Ana River on Thursday morning, police said.

Antonio Esparza, apparently the victim of an accidental drowning, was fishing Wednesday evening in the Lakeview basin with a friend. He "apparently . . . tried to swim across the basin for an unknown reason and disappeared beneath the surface," Police Lt. Bob Puckett said.

Police called in divers from the Sheriff's Department to search for Esparza, but they were forced to quit because of darkness. Shortly after the search resumed Thursday, the body was found in about 25 feet of water, Puckett said. Esparza was fully clothed except for shoes, Puckett said. The man's fishing pole was found on the pond's bank.

The body showed no obvious signs of trauma, and police believe that the drowning was accidental, a spokesman said. An investigation is continuing, however.

An autopsy was performed Thursday, but a spokesman for the county coroner said the cause of death was being withheld, pending the results of toxicological tests.

The Lakeview basin, a settling pond filled with "fairly clear, . . . fresh water," is located in the 4400 block of East La Palma Avenue, near Lakeview Avenue, Puckett said.

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