Crews find body of missing Santa Maria man

March 24, 2023

David Navarro


Santa Maria police officers on Thursday found the deceased body of a man who went missing after possibly entering a water catchment basin last week.

At about 11:30 a.m., investigators found the body of 32-year-old David Navarro in the general area of the reservoir where he went missing, according to the Santa Maria Police Department. An investigation into Navarro’s death is ongoing. 

Shortly before 11 p.m. on March 14, a 911 caller reported she could not locate her acquaintance, Navarro. The caller said Navarro entered the fenced off area surrounding a flood control reservoir near Blosser Road and Canal Street.

Officers arrived at the scene and were told Navarro had not been seen entering the water. However, officers later recovered what they believed to be Navarro’s jacket from the water in the same general area.

Through the early morning hours of March 15, Santa Maria police officers and firefighters, along with the Santa Barbara County Fire Search and Rescue Team, conducted an extensive search for Navarro. They searched the immediate and surrounding area using a rescue boat, utility vehicle, drones and thermal imaging tools. 

Santa Maria police detectives arrived, took over the investigation and continued search efforts. Detectives canvassed the area and, when it was light outside, used a drone team to search for Navarro.

Likewise, a CHP helicopter crew conducted an extensive search of the surrounding area, including all flood channels. 

Santa Maria police later requested help with underwater search efforts from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team.

On Thursday, after police finally located Navarro’s body, Santa Barbara County coroner’s personnel and Santa Maria firefighters came out to the scene. The coroner’s office is investigating and will determine the cause and manner of Navarro’s death.