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July 7, 2014
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Two dead bodies pulled from Colorado River in Eagle and Grand counties

2 bodies found in Colorado River; 1 near Rifle

Two bodies were pulled from the Colorado River on Saturday, one near Rifle and one in Grand County near its border with Eagle County.

The one found in Garfield County has not been identified, but foul play was not suspected.

A Garfield County statement said that at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, deputies were called to a site near to Interstate 70 between mile markers 90 and 91 where a group of rafters spotted a body.

The body was retrieved by search-and-rescue personnel and will undergo an autopsy. The coroner will try to determine the identity of the person, after which the family will be notified.

In Grand County, an Avon couple, Mike and Tanya Warmenhoven, were rafting the river with friends. As they cleared the Needles Eye Rapids between Pumphouse and Radium, they spotted two inflatable rubber canoes flipped over, and a life jacket floating in the water.

Tanya Warmenhoven said they spotted one man near the side of the river, exhausted after struggling to get out of the water. About the same time they spotted a second man, motionless and floating in the river.

They pulled him into their boat and started CPR, but could get no response.

Other boaters had alerted authorities and the Warmenhovens were met at Radium by Eagle County emergency medical technicians and Grand County Sheriff’s deputies, who transported the body.

Grand County Coroner Brenda Bock identified the drowning victim as William Fliris, 67, of Lusk, Wyoming. He had the correct gear, but the life jacket did not appear to be properly secured, Tanya Warmenhoven said.

— Summit Daily, Vail Daily report


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The Summit Daily Updated Jul 7, 2014 09:01PM Published Jul 8, 2014 01:24PM Copyright 2014 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.