Saturday, December 3, 2022

Investigators Confirm Body Found in Navarro River is Missing Boonville Man— ‘No Obvious Signs of Foul Play’

Jesus Mendoza (aka “Junior”, “Shotgun”, and “Shotty”) [All photographs provided by Jennifer Mendoza]

Officials have confirmed the dead body found in the Navarro River this morning is 25-year-old Boonville resident Jesus Mendoza who went missing on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Captain Greg Van Patten told us he was found submerged in the water and preliminary investigations have found “no obvious signs of foul play.”

Mendoza’s family filed a missing person report last night with MCSO after he had been missing for three days. In an earlier interview, Jennifer Mendoza, Jesus’s sister, told us her brother was last seen around 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday in the company of three men and five women within Hendy Woods State Park in Philo. 

This group of men and women have yet to be identified, but Captain Van Patten said investigators determined this group Jesus reportedly was last seen with was across the river and the last known sighting of him was him swimming to go and talk with them. “At this point, nothing we have developed shows he knew the group he was going to contact”, Captain Van Patten said.

Captain Van Patten confirmed the investigation into Mendoza’s death is within MCSO’s jurisdiction and a coroner’s investigation is currently being conducted. An autopsy is scheduled for next week but blood alcohol/toxicology analysis results will not be available for several weeks.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
I like to think of myself as a journalist for the everyman. Journalism has become a craft practiced largely by the urban elite. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at if you know a story that needs to be told.

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