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Search for missing Mt. Shasta woman ends with discovery of her body in the Sacramento River

A search that began on Sunday night ended with a grisly discovery on Monday morning, according to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office.

Posted: Apr 27, 2020 11:29 AM
Updated: Apr 27, 2020 12:51 PM

DUNSMUIR, Calif. — Deputies with the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office discovered the body of a missing woman in the Sacramento River on Monday after she disappeared on Sunday night, according to a statement from the agency.

Officers responded to a home in the 600-block of First Street in Dunsmuir just before 11 p.m. on Sunday night. A man living at the home told deputies that he and two women had been periodically been talking inside and on the deck of the home, at times using an outdoor hot tub. At one point, they noticed that one of the women was missing — finding "evidence that she may have fallen into the nearby Sacramento River," the Sheriff's Office said.

After searching the house, the remaining two told the Sheriff's Office that they could not find their friend and had last seen her in the hot tub, outside on the deck of the home.

"Responding deputies searched the area near the river and surrounding area but did not locate the missing woman," the Sheriff's Office said. "A missing person’s report was taken, and a search continued south of the location along the banks of the river. A missing person bulletin was later broadcast to other agencies in the area."

The next morning, divers and Search & Rescue teams began a search of the river downstream from the home, aided by a California Highway Patrol helicopter. The CHP pilot eventually spotted what seemed to be a body floating in the river downstream from the house, around 8:30 am. that morning.

SAR members and divers were able to pull the body from the river about 1.4 miles away from the home, in Shasta County. The woman was identified as 40-year-old Erin Rachel Wagner of Mount Shasta.

The Sheriff's Office has launched an investigation into Wagner's death, with an autopsy planned for this week to determine the cause and manner of her death.

"Although there is no evidence to suggest Ms. Wagner’s tragic death was other than an accident, routinely, a death investigation is conducted in the aftermath of such incidents to ensure all information, facts, evidence, and findings in the case are thoroughly examined by SCSO investigators before such final cause and manner of death determinations are made," the Sheriff's Office said.

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