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Transient Is Victim Of Drowning At Woodward Reservoir
Sheriff’s Department personnel and firefighters, along with EMT crews, responded to Woodward Reservoir on June 16 to a report of a possible drowning. The deceased victim, 39-year-old Carlos Soto, was located after about two hours of searching. In this photo, crews are shown during a previous training exercise at Woodward, last week, just a few days before being called in to service on the drowning incident. Modesto Fire Department Photo

Members of the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department Special Vehicle Operations (SVOU) Unit, as well as the Coroner’s Office, continue investigating a drowning at Woodward Reservoir that occurred mid-afternoon Wednesday.

Calls came into dispatch on Wednesday, June 16 shortly after 2:30 p.m. reporting a possible adult man going under 100 feet off the shore of Fisher Point, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department noted in a press release. The victim was identified as Carlos Soto, 39, described as a transient.

Sheriff’s deputies, local area firefighters, as well as EMT paramedics, responded to conduct an exhaustive search.

“Multiple boats belonging to the Sheriff’s and Fire Departments were launched as they checked the area. Ground units also assisted by driving along the lake’s shore,” the press release stated. “The Sheriff’s Department utilized their dive team to aid their search. They utilized sophisticated sonar equipment by scouring the eight to ten-feet deep water.”

Soto’s remains were located after about two hours of canvassing the area where he was last seen by relatives. The coroner’s office will be conducting a death investigation to include a forensic autopsy. All other facts and circumstances surrounding the drowning are still being gathered.

Sheriff’s officials are reminding members of the public to always wear their life jackets. Practice safe aquatic recreational habits, drink responsibly and always swim with others using a buddy system. The appearance of cold, open water from the outside can be deceiving. It is important to swim within your own personal capabilities since it only takes a few brief moments for a person to be overcome by the conditions.

Members of the community are urged to contact Coroner’s Detective Nunes at 209-567-4480 if they have added information to share regarding this case or can assist with the death investigation.