Law Enforcement

The Curry County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after the body of a 29-year-old man was found floating in the Rogue River the day after Christmas.

Deputies received a call early Dec. 26 from a man who found the body floating near Jot’s Resort at the mouth of the Rogue River. The caller said he was trying to use a metal pole to stop the body from floating into the ocean.

Sheriff John Ward said two deputies launched the department’s marine boat and responded to the area near the old Saus Brothers building just before the unmanned Coast Guard Station. Deputies were able to secure a line to the body and get the person to shore.

Ward said while there was no identification on the body, the deputies recognized Hector Camarena, who had been reported missing from Redwood City, California.

Ward said about a month earlier, on Nov. 21, Camarena had contact with deputies when a man called 911 from the Lobster Creek Campground, about nine miles east of Gold Beach. The caller said a man had jumped into the water to pull Camarena out and had him warming up in his pickup truck.

Cal Ore Lift Flight responded to the campground and took Camarena to Curry General Hospital. The following day, Camarena was released from the hospital and a deputy gave him a ride back to his vehicle.

Earlier this month, deputies contacted the campground after learning Camarena had been listed a missing person Nov. 30, eight days after a deputy left him at the campground. When checking with the campground, deputies learned Camarena’s vehicle had been tagged by a Forest Service officer, and the vehicle was towed Dec. 11.

After Camarena’s body was pulled from the Rogue River, the Curry County district attorney requested an autopsy.

Ward said the autopsy results are pending and deputies do now know when Camarena went in the water, where he went in the water or why he went in the water.

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