Missing Menifee man’s body third recovered from Canyon Lake since October

CANYON LAKE, Calif. — Authorities say the body of a missing 23-year-old Menifee/Quail Valley man was found near a Canyon Lake shoreline Thursday afternoon, May 27. The man, who family members said liked to fish near the lake’s North Ski Area, was reported as missing after concerned family members could not locate him.


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Riverside County sheriff’s deputies assigned to patrol Canyon Lake, an exclusive gated community located between the cities of Lake Elsinore and Menifee, responded to the area of Vacation Drive around 3:20 p.m. after being contacted by the victim’s family. 

Deputies learned the missing man liked to fish in the area, but had not returned home as he had planned, Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Albert Martinez has since said.

Deputies can be seen processing the area where a missing man’s body was discovered on Thursday. Canyon Lake Insider/Debbie Cocanour photo

“Deputies began checking the shoreline and located the male, deceased in the water, next to the shoreline,” said Martinez. The man’s cause of the death remains under investigation, according to the Sergeant; who said no crime was immediately apparent. The victim’s name has not yet been released.

Canyon Lake Mayor Pro Tem Jeremy Smith has since told Canyon Lake Insider that the victim was reported to have had a seizure while fishing from the shoreline.

“It is unknown at this time if the victim died of a seizure or suffered a seizure and then fell into the water and drowned,” said Smith. 

“It is terrible to learn of yesterday’s incident,” said Canyon Lake Mayor Kasey Castillo. “Please take care to practice the buddy system and water safety around the lake, especially this busy weekend.”


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Thursday’s body recovery was the third to happen in the same backwater area of Canyon Lake since last October.

The most recent incident involved a 19-year-old Murrieta man whose naked body was found by a fisherman in a fishing float, in the area of Vacation Drive and Old Wrangler Road, along the lake’s northernmost end.

The earlier incident involved a 20-year-old Los Angeles man who drowned after becoming distressed while swimming.

Although numerous people, along with emergency personnel and a sheriff’s aviation unit searched for that victim after he went under the water and failed to come back up, his body was not discovered until members of the sheriff’s Underwater Search and Rescue team responded to the lake to assist in the search.

Thursday’s death remains under investigation and officials have not released any further information.

Contact the writer: [email protected]

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.