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Deputies pull body from mouth of the Rogue River near Gold Beach

The Curry County Sheriff's Office says that the body was identified as a man who was rescued from the river a month before and treated at a hospital.

Posted: Dec 28, 2020 3:25 PM
Updated: Dec 28, 2020 3:41 PM

GOLD BEACH, Ore. — Deputies who pulled a body from the mouth of the Rogue River on Saturday were able to identify it as belonging to a man saved from the river about a month prior, according to the Curry County Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office received a 911 call on Saturday, reporting that a body had been spotted floating in the water near Jot's Resort. The caller said that he had grabbed a metal pole and was trying to pull the body in before it reached the ocean.

Deputies arrived at the scene and launched a boat to meet up with the caller near the old Sause Brothers Building, near the unmanned Coast Guard station. The officers were able to secure a line to the body and pull it into shore.

Though there was no identification on the body, deputies recognized the man as 29-year-old Hector Camarena of Redwood City, California, according to the Sheriff's Office — the result of an eerily similar incident a month prior.

On November 21, deputies responded to the Lobster Creek Campground about nine miles east of Gold Beach. The campground host had called 911 to report that a man had dove into the water to save another man. The latter man was Camarena.

Camerena was taken to the camp host's pickup truck to get warm, and paramedics later responded to take Camerena to Curry General Hospital. He was released from the hospital a day later, and a deputy gave him a ride back to his vehicle at the Lobster Creek Campground, the Sheriff's Office said.

On Friday, December 21, deputies again contacted the Lobster Creek camp host after learning that Camarena had been reported as a missing person on November 30 — just eight days after he was released from the hospital. An officer from the U.S. Forest Service tagged Camarena's vehicle as abandoned, and it had been towed.

The Sheriff's Office said that it notified the Curry County District Attorney's Office of the discovery of Camarena's body on Saturday, and an autopsy was requested.

"It is unknown at this time how long Camarena had been in the river, where he went into the river and why he was in the river," the Sheriff's Office said. "Redwood Memorial Service arrived and took possession of Camarena."

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