Carlsbad flooding victim identified by New Mexico State Police

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New Mexico State Police identified the body of a man who died Tuesday after being swept away by flood waters near Boyd Drive and Monterrey Road in Carlsbad.

John Paul Koch, 63, was traveling west on Radio Boulevard in a 2003 Jeep Wrangler and for unknown reasons drove past barricades and into rapid moving flood waters over the roadway, State Police said in a news release.

The Jeep overturned several times and was swept away in the Dark Canyon Draw Arroyo, the release stated.

Rescue efforts for Koch were not successful by emergency personnel due to the high volume and intensity of the flood.

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Related:Red Cross offers support to Eddy County residents affected by flood

Crews delayed recovering the body waiting for flood waters to recede to a safe level for personnel to enter the water, the release read. 

State Police and members of the Carlsbad Fire Department flew a drone Wednesday afternoon in an area near a low water crossing along Boyd Drive. The drone pinpointed the spot where Koch’s body and Jeep washed up. State police divers arrived on scene Wednesday and recovered the body around 7 p.m.

Related:One dead as result of Tuesday’s flooding in Carlsbad

His body was sent to the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque for autopsy and identification, per the release. 

The investigation continued, according to the news release. 

A Carlsbad Fire Department drone takes to the skies over Boyd Drive on June 30, 2021 attempting to locate a missing driver and their vehicle.

Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at or @ArgusMichae on Twitter. 

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