The body of a man was recovered from a canal Tuesday morning in south Phoenix.
Phoenix police and fire crews located the body in the Western Canal near 18th Street and Baseline Road after receiving word of a possible water rescue. The call was made by a nearby neighbor that saw the body floating while taking a morning walk, according to authorities.
“Our dive team has been called to the scene to remove and identify the object,” said Sgt. Jonathan Howard, a Phoenix police spokesman. “Detectives will be investigating.”
It appeared that the man had been in the water for some time.
The Phoenix Police Department’s dive team was brought out to help recover the body due to the dangers, including currents inside the canal and any items that may have been dumped there that couldn’t be seen due to the murk.
“One of my officers on scene, who has been in the South Mountain Precinct for a long time, recognizes the individual,” Lt. Greg Rath said. “He has dealt with him in the past,” adding that the man was possibly “transient in nature.”
Police were trying to determine how the man ended up in the canal and whether foul play was involved. They were also working to positively identify him using his fingerprints and DNA, according to Phoenix police detectives on scene.
Rath said he wanted to remind people that, as temperatures start to rise, it is not a smart idea to swim or bathe in canals.
“There are currents in here,” he said. “There are pump mechanisms that move that water pretty swiftly underneath, and you can’t see it. …You don’t necessarily know what’s crawling around inside that water.”
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