CROWS LANDING — Authorities recovered a man's body Thursday after they discovered human remains lodged under some bushes in dried-up Orestimba Creek, officials said.
The man has not been identified, said Stanislaus County sheriff's Lt. Mike Parker.
California Highway Patrol officers are investigating whether the person is a man who is presumed to have drowned when he tried to cross the rain-swollen creek in a sport utility vehicle the evening of Jan. 19, said officer Chuck Leon.
Authorities believe that man drove around road barriers and tried to cross the creek at Eastin Road in western Stanislaus County. The 1993 Ford Explorer he was driving was swept downstream in the torrent.
Two Newman police officers heard the man yelling in the creek and tried to save him, but the man disappeared under fast-moving water.
The Ford Explorer was spotted the next day and recovered, but the body was not found.
CHP officials have not been able to identify the man through missing person reports, vehicle registration or other avenues, Leon said.
The body was found Thursday about 12:30 p.m. in the creek along Crows Landing Road near Highway 33, a few miles northeast from where the driver of the Explorer disappeared last month.
Stanislaus County coroner officials recovered the body and will conduct an autopsy. Parker said coroner officials most likely will use fingerprints or dental records to identify the body.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2394.