Body of miss­ing El Cen­tro at­tor­ney found

Imperial Valley Press - - NEWS -

Af­ter a nearly month-long search, the body of a miss­ing 28-year-old El Cen­tro man was dis­cov­ered Sun­day in the desert near Painted

Canyon and Box Canyon roads.

The body was found at 3 p.m. Sun­day by River­side Sher­iff’s deputies, and on Tues­day, the River­side County coro­ner’s of­fice iden­ti­fied the body as that of Ankit Goyal.

Goyal was an at­tor­ney with El Cen­tro-based law firm Plourd & Breeze.

He had pre­vi­ously worked in the San

Diego area be­fore re­lo­cat­ing to the Val­ley in 2017.

On Oct. 2, deputies from the Ther­mal Sta­tion re­ceived a call that River­side County Trans­porta­tion Depart­ment em­ploy­ees lo­cated a ve­hi­cle in Box Canyon, be­tween In­ter­state 10 and Painted Canyon Road, near Mecca.

The ve­hi­cle ap­peared to have been swept off the road­way in the canyon, pos­si­bly dur­ing re­cent storms on Sept. 30.

The ve­hi­cle was de­scribed as a Sil­ver Honda with sig­nif­i­cant dam­age and was regis­tered to Goyal.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors de­ter­mined Goyal had camped in Joshua Tree Na­tional Park be­tween Sept. 28 and Sept. 30.

He re­port­edly was trav­el­ing home to El Cen­tro, with a likely route to in­clude Box Canyon Road, about 7 p.m. on Sept. 30.

There was a sig­nif­i­cant storm in that area on that date and time, re­sult­ing in ma­jor de­struc­tion to Box Canyon Road due to flash flood­ing.

A search of the im­me­di­ate area where the ve­hi­cle was lo­cated by deputies and rangers from the Bureau of Land Man­age­ment was con­ducted with­out find­ing Goyal.

A mas­sive search and res­cue ef­fort in­volv­ing more than 200 searchers was con­ducted be­tween Oct. 2 and Oct. 6.

Nu­mer­ous items re­lated to the ve­hi­cle were lo­cated through­out Box Canyon, although Goyal was not lo­cated dur­ing the search.

The ground search was sus­pended on Oct. 6; how­ever, other search ef­forts con­tin­ued.

On Sun­day, deputies re­sponded to a re­port of a dead body, which was later iden­ti­fied as Goyal, found in the desert near Painted Canyon and Box Canyon.

Goyal was found in a large area of tem­po­rary muddy wa­ter that had been re­ced­ing af­ter re­cent floods. There was no ev­i­dence of a crim­i­nal act, a RCSO press re­lease stated.


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