Two drown in separate incidents at opposite ends of Imperial County

May 30, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

The Imperial County Coroner's Office responded to two drownings Tuesday but the circumstances regarding the cases differ greatly, according to investigators.

The first body, that of a male, was found shortly before 10 a.m. in the All-American Canal near Drop 1 in the eastern desert by Imperial Irrigation District personnel.

Coroner Investigator Gary Hayes said no identification was found on the body, but based on where the body was found he thinks the man was an undocumented immigrant.

He said the body likely had been in the water for up to five days. Hayes added the person may have entered the water between Los Algodones and Drop 1 near Gordons Well Road.


There were no signs of foul play, Hayes added.

The second body, that of a man, was found on the south shore of the Salton Sea near Salton City by employees of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Hayes identified the body as that of 30-year-old Darrell Perkins of San Antonio. Hayes said there was evidence the death was a suicide.

Authorities had been searching for Perkins since the vehicle he had been driving was found on Poe Road near Highway 86 on Sunday.

Sheriff's Deputy Mark McNay determined the vehicle had been rented, and when he traced information he determined Perkins was the driver.

Authorities started a search of the area that included calling in the sheriff's Aero Squadron to fly over the sea. Authorities were unable to find Perkins.

Shortly before noon Tuesday, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service workers found a body of a man fitting Perkins' description.

An inflated raft also was found, leading authorities to investigate the death as a possible suicide.

A final determination on whether it was a suicide had not been made as of this morning.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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