The body of a Calaveras County man was found submerged in Angels Creek near downtown Murphys on Tuesday morning.
Calaveras County Sheriff’s Sgt. Greg Stark said the identity of a 40-year-old man was not being released pending family notification.
“We’d like to do it as quickly as possible to maintain the integrity of the investigation. We should have more by Friday,” he said.
Stark said Wednesday afternoon the cause of death and any possibility of foul play was unknown. An autopsy was planned to determine if the man sustained any wounds.
“Detectives are looking at all angles of this investigation,” Stark said.
Stark said the man was from Calaveras County, but said he could not identify the specific town.
The body was found by people near the 800 block of Main Street in Murphys about 11:10 a.m., just outside the main commercial thoroughfare of town and before the intersection of French Gulch Road with Murphys Grade Road.
Stark said it was unknown if the man was in the Murphys area with anybody or how many people saw him in the creek before he was pulled out by authorities.
Frank Field, operations and maintenance superintendent with Utica Water and Power Authority, said water levels were at about one and a half feet in the afterbay of the Murphys powerhouse, less than a mile west of the approximate area where the body was found.
After Angels Creek separates from a ditch and flume system outside of the Murphys powerhouse, it flows in a southwest direction and is no longer under the jurisdiction of the Utica Water and Power Authority, said Karen Rojas, interim general manager.
West of the intersection of French Gulch Road with Murphys Grade Road, Angels Creek separates again to another flume and ditch system operated by the Utica Water and Power Authority, which leads to Ross Reservoir.
Angels Creek flows to a powerhouse in Angels Camp and next to New Melones Reservoir.
Utica Water and Power Authority provides raw waters to the town of Murphys Angels Camp.
Rojas said the Utica Water and Power Authority was not initially contacted by the Sheriff’s Office because the body was not found in waters operated by them.
Field said he would only be concerned about potential water contamination if a contaminant caused the death of the man.
“There are fish in the creek, the water is very normal for raw water,” he said. “If they would have had the cause, they could have tried to contact us so we could make some adjustments on our system.”
Murphys Grade Road was temporarily closed during the investigation on Tuesday.