Body discovered in Klamath River, investigated as homicide

Update (02/23/17 10:00 a.m.) — The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said the death of 62-year-old Jesse Francis Ward has been officially determined to be a homicide.

Sheriff Jon Lopey said, “The tragic death of Mr. Ward has been investigated as a homicide from the time his body was recovered, which has led to the development of some promising investigative leads.  We still have a lot of work to do to solve this case and we ask that anyone with information about this case, or knowledge about Mr. Ward’s activities within the last two weeks and any leads about his associations or contacts with others within this time period to report the information to the SCSO Major Crimes’ Unit by calling our 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.  On behalf of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, I would again like to extend our sincere condolences and prayers to Mr. Ward, his family, friends, and associates.”

Update (02/21/17 1:23 p.m.)- The suspected homicide victim has been identified as Jesse Francis Ward, 62, of Happy Camp.

Siskiyou County, Cal.- The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the case of a body found partially submerged in the Klamath River Monday morning.

The body was discovered just before noon along the north bank of the river near a residence on SR 96 west of SR 263. The location is about eight miles north of Yreka.

Because of its location, the body couldn’t immediately be examined or recovered. The Sheriff’s Office called in its dive team and water safety unit, which used a boat to pull the body from the water.

A Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputy and members of the county’s Major Crimes Unit conducted a crime scene investigation along with a deputy district attorney from the Siskiyou County District Attorney’s Office.

The case is being handled as a possible homicide at this time.

“Although this case is being handled as a possible homicide, we will not know conclusively what happened to the victim until an autopsy is conducted, which will help investigators determine the cause and manner of death,” said Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey. “The body was that of a male adult but his name will not be released until the next-of-kin has been notified.”

 Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office’s MCU at our 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.

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