Body Found Near Fashion Valley Was Missing Man

Investigators do not believe man was victim of a violent crime

By Lauren Steussy, Steven Luke and Monica Garske
|  Thursday, Feb 7, 2013  |  Updated 10:22 PM PDT
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Man Found in SD River Died from Stab Wounds: ME

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The body of a missing Chula Vista man discovered in a riverbed near Fashion Valley showed signs of trauma, a report from the Medical Examiner’s office has confirmed.

According to the ME report, 42-year-old Robert Garret Chesney – the man found floating in the San Diego River Tuesday morning – died from stab wounds of the chest.

Upon discovering the man's body, a homicide lieutenant said police were working with Chula Vista police to figure out if the body was in any way connected to Chesney, who had been missing since Saturday.

Detectives developed information that Chesney may have been in the area near the San Diego River Monday night. They began searching for him then, but called off the search when it got dark.

Over the weekend, Chesney's family was working with police to find him. He was dropped off at the UCSD Medical Center Saturday afternoon, but left on foot.

He was described as having diminished mental capacity and a seizure disorder, and his family was concerned he wasn't on his medication.

When officers began searching again Tuesday morning, they found a body and identified it as Chesney. His family has been notified.

Initially, SDPD Lt. Jorge Duran said police did not suspect Chesney was the victim of a violent crime. However, Lt. Duran maintained that might change once the ME’s report determined a cause of death.

"Once the ME indicates the cause of death that may change our investigation to something else other than just a death investigation,” Lt. Duran said earlier this week.

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