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Brawley man's body discovered in canal half-mile from home

January 02, 2001|By MARCY MISNER, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — People out for a walk Monday morning found a Brawley man drowned in a canal north of here.

The man was identified as Matilde Chicas, 41, who lives about half a mile from where his body was found in the canal. The body was found near Highway 111 and Shank Road north of Brawley.

Chief Deputy Coroner Sgt. Rick Macken said Chicas left his house some time after 11 p.m. New Year's Eve. His wife and four children had gone to her sister's house for the holiday, Macken said. There was no answer at the Chicas house when his wife tried to telephone him in the morning. About the time she had gone home and was reporting him missing, the Brawley Police Department was notified of the body in the canal.

County Sheriff's Office deputies and Macken responded to the area about 4:30 p.m. Monday.

"It appears that he may have fallen into a canal, a drain, with approximately 3 feet of slow-moving water in it and drowned. There were no signs of trauma," Macken said.


Macken said investigators found footprints matching Chicas' shoes indicating he walked away from his house along the ditch bank to a point where he entered the canal.

Chicas had been drinking alcohol, Macken said, but family members said he did not drink often.

An autopsy is set for today.

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