Body of missing Moab man discovered in Colorado River

Published: Saturday, June 14 2014 9:00 p.m. MDT

Colorado River.

Kenneth Mays, Deseret News Archives

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MONTICELLO — The body of a Moab man who went missing June 6 was found Saturday.

San Juan County Sheriff Rick Eldridge said the body of Casey Menuey, 33, was found in the Colorado River by kayakers near the mouth of Monument Basin. They notified San Juan County sheriff's deputies and park rangers who were able to recover the body about 10:30 a.m.

Eldridge said the body was found in the river, "approximately seven miles down river from where Casey was last seen and went into the river," which was at a trail in Lathrop Canyon.

"We're pretty positive that it is the body of Casey from identifying, looking at him," Eldridge said.

The body will be taken to the medical examiner in Salt Lake City for official identification and an autopsy.

Eldridge said the river is high this time of year and runs about 8 to 10 mph, but it is not a white water area or considered dangerous.

Alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor in the case and Menuey was not wearing a life preserver.

"We don't have a lot of drowning victims because most people do wear life preservers on the river," he said. "It's just a testament of how dangerous the river can be if we're not safety conscious and if we allow ourselves to use bad judgment, and I mean that by the use of alcohol and some of those things that were involved in this case."

Eldridge said the agency's thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Menuey. Menuey's wife has been notified. Deputies were in contact with her daily.

"We're doing everything we can to assist her in her time of grief," he said.

Menuey was rafting on the Colorado River on June 6 when he went missing. He was with six other people who stopped their river run to check out a trail in Lathrop Canyon. It was there that the group lost track of Menuey, and could not locate him after looking for many hours, according to sheriff's officials.

Members of the group contacted the National Park Service and rangers located Menuey's trail to the riverbank, where investigators believe he got into the river.

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