Body Found in San Ysidro Storm Drain

By Danya Bacchus, Monica Garske and Lauren Steussy
|  Thursday, Jan 31, 2013  |  Updated 6:16 PM PDT
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Body Found in San Ysidro Storm Drain

Danya Bacchus

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San Diego police discovered a body inside a storm drain in San Ysidro Thursday after receiving a tip from an anonymous caller.

Officers conducted an extensive search of the area at about 3:30 p.m., eventually locating the body near East San Ysidro Boulevard and Border Village Road, according to the San Diego Police Department.

The intersection is located just a few blocks north of the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

Investigators say they received a call about the body from a tipster on Monday. The tipster told police he had spotted the body inside the drainage system while he himself was using the same path to cross into the United States illegally from Mexico.

The caller said he had recognized the victim as a friend or acquaintance, police said, and decided to alert authorities.

Police found the body Thursday after conducting a search of the area, including a drainage ditch.

Officials said they had trouble locating the body earlier because the location the tipster originally reported to police had been vague and incorrect. Officials also had to get the Border Patrol involved, which also took some extra time.

Police at the scene said the storm drain is about five feet deep, and the body was approximately 50 yards from the opening. Officials spent hours trying to recover the body and were finally able to extricate the victim.

Once the body was out, workers could be seen rewelding the manhole cover to the drain.

They do believe it is the same body reported by the anonymous caller because the person’s clothing matches the description given to police by the tipster.

As of right now, police have not identified the victim. Officials don’t know exactly how long the body has been in there, but they believe it’s been about one week.

“Fortunately, there is not a lot of swift water in the drain system at this time, but it appears that there might have been when the incident occurred,” said SDPD Lt. Joseph Ramos. “It looks to us like the body might’ve been there for about a week or so.”

Given the recent rain in San Diego, officials think the victim may have endured strong waters inside the drain and could’ve gotten knocked down and possibly swept away in there.

Police say the drain is a tough and extremely dangerous path to travel through. At this point, officials do not suspect any foul play.

Check back for updates.

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