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New Mexico State Police recover flood victim’s body in Carlsbad

New Mexico State Police (Source: Facebook)
New Mexico State Police (Source: Facebook)
Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 2:29 PM CDT
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CARLSBAD, New Mexico (NEWS RELEASE) - On June 29, 2021, at around 10 p.m. the New Mexico State Police, was alerted to a vehicle that drove into flowing floodwaters near the intersection of Boyd Drive and Monterrey Road in Carlsbad.

The initial investigation indicates that a 2003 Jeep Wrangler driven by John Paul Koch, 63, of Carlsbad was traveling west on Radio Boulevard.  For unknown reasons, Koch drove past road-closed barricades and into flood water that was rapidly flowing over the roadway.  The Jeep overturned several times and was swept away in the Dark Canyon Draw Arroyo.

First responders from the Carlsbad Police Department, Carlsbad Fire Department, and Eddy County Fire and Rescue attempted an immediate rescue but were unable to deploy swift water rescue teams due to the high volume and intensity of the water.  The decision was made to delay recovery efforts until floodwaters subsided to a safe level for personnel to enter the water.

The New Mexico State Police Dive Team was activated and on June 30, 2021, at around 7:00 p.m. State Police divers recovered Koch’s body.  The body was sent to the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque for autopsy and identification.

This incident is under investigation by the New Mexico State Police.

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