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Grover Beach man identified as possible Lopez Lake drowning victim

Grover Beach man identified as possible Lopez Lake drowning victim

From the What you need to know for Thursday, October 22 series
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A Grover Beach man was identified on Wednesday as the victim of a possible drowning that occurred at Lopez Lake on Sunday. 

San Luis Obispo County sheriff's deputies received a call of a possible drowning in the area of the lake known as Lopez Arm shortly after 3:30 p.m. Sunday, according to sheriff's spokesman Tony Cipolla

Witnesses reported that a family member, identified as 39-year-old David Sanchez, went into the water to help a relative who appeared to be in distress. 

The relative made it to safety, but Sanchez went under the water and never reappeared, Cipolla said. 

Sheriff's deputies responded, along with Cal Fire and divers from the Sheriff's Underwater Search and Recovery Team, but could not locate Sanchez due to zero visibility conditions in the water. 

Divers returned to the lake at about 4 p.m. Tuesday to resume their search and discovered Sanchez's body in approximately 47 feet of water, Cipolla said. 

An autopsy is planned this week to determine the manner and cause of Sanchez's death.


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The following is taken from the Santa Maria Police Department's calls-for-service log and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office daily arrest log. Those appearing as "arrested" are only suspected of the crime indicated but are presumed innocent.

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