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Investigators identify body recovered from the Klamath River near Happy Camp

The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office is investigating after someone spotted the body floating near the Independence Creek Bridge.

Posted: Apr 30, 2020 9:19 AM
Updated: Apr 30, 2020 9:21 AM

HAPPY CAMP, Calif. — The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office has identified a body recovered from the Klamath River near Happy Camp last Monday night, the agency announced on Thursday.

A deputy responded to the area after receiving a report about the body just after 6:30 p.m. After arriving near the Independence Creek Bridge over the Klamath River about 14 miles southwest of Happy Camp, the deputy spotted the body floating in the river near the bridge.

Officers from both the Sheriff's Office and Karuk Tribal Security arrived to help, with the latter bringing in a boat used for river rescue. They were able to pull the body from the river while detectives from the SCSO Major Crimes Unit responded to begin an investigation.

Investigators have since identified the body as 57-year-old Egbert Pepper. According to the Sheriff's Office, Pepper most recently lived in Happy Camp, but lived in San Bernardino County before that.

Despite an autopsy of Pepper's body, investigators still don't have answers about the cause and manner of his death — but it remains the subject of suspicion.

"Such death investigations are routinely handled as homicides until otherwise determined by detectives to involve another manner of death," the Sheriff's Office said.

“On behalf of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, I would like to take this opportunity to offer our thoughts and prayers to Mr. Pepper, his family, friends, and associates," said Sheriff Jon Lopey. "According to detectives, their investigation has revealed Mr. Pepper was last seen alive on March 7, 2020 in the Happy Camp area. Anyone with information about this case or Mr. Pepper’s activities or whereabouts on or after March 7 is encouraged to contact detectives by calling the SCSO’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.”

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