New Mexico State Police wait for identity of Carlsbad downing victim

New Mexico State Police awaited autopsy results from the Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI) of a body recovered near a Carlsbad water crossing Wednesday night.

Officer Ray Wilson, State Police spokesperson, said the body was sent to OMI in Albuquerque for positive identification.

“Once that has been completed and we ensure the family is properly notified we will release the individual’s name,” he said.

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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.

Wilson said a drone launched by the Carlsbad Fire Department Wednesday around 4 p.m. helped officials locate the body near Boyd Drive and Monterrey Street. The vehicle the person was swept away in was also recovered.

“The drone played a part in officers making a decision, but the final determination was made by the dive team commander when they deemed the water was safe for dive team members to enter,” he said.

Wilson added the New Mexico State Police Dive Team was activated around 1 p.m. Wednesday.

“They arrived shortly after and stood by until the waters were safe for dive team members to attempt a recovery,” he said.

Wilson did not offer a timeline on when OMI would complete the autopsy.

“We never try to speculate on OMI,” he said. “It depends on their caseloads, and their own process.”

Wilson said an initial investigation indicated the driver drove barriers and into flood waters Tuesday around 10 p.m. He said the body and vehicle were swept away.

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