The Merced County Sheriff’s Office has identified the body found in the Delta-Mendota canal over the weekend as missing Fowler truck driver Satwant Bains.
According to Undersheriff Jason Goins, the 54-year-old Bains was found about two miles downstream from where the California Highway Patrol found his truck abandoned Wednesday, on Interstate 5 near Whitworth Road.
The Merced County Sheriff dive team recovered the body on Saturday, after it was found by a deputy patrolling the banks of the canal, according to Goins.
According to Goins, the Merced County Coroner determined the man’s cause of death to be drowning and the Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the case with the CHP to determine how Bains entered the canal.
Bains was reported missing near Los Banos and the big rig he was driving was discovered on the freeway Wednesday, partially blocking the northbound lane.
Authorities said the doors to the vehicle were unlocked and a cell phone and wallet belonging to Bains were found inside the truck.