Maricopa County suspends search for man, Rodolfo Ruiz, missing at Apache Lake

Posted at 6:29 AM, Jul 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-04 09:25:52-04

Authorities have identified the man believed to have drowned at Apache Lake early Sunday morning.

Around 2 a.m. Sunday, deputies said they received a 911 call about a man who appeared to be intoxicated and fell into the lake.

A release fro the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said campers reported a man who was stumbling through campsites, knocking over chairs and fell into an unoccupied tent.

The man, later identified as 37-year-old Rodolfo Ruiz, entered the water in the first cove north of the gas docks and began swimming toward a hazard buoy. Witnesses told detectives he was breathing heavily, taking a loud breath after every stroke.

People in a personal watercraft and a boat went over and attempted to rescue the man, who was face-down in the water when they arrived. Those around him were not wearing personal floatation devices and told authorities they didn't feel comfortable jumping into the water.

Sheriff's deputies began searching by boat around 3 a.m. Divers were called and began searching after sunrise. 

Ruiz's sister-in-law reported that he was missing after a fight with his wife during the night. His wife told deputies he was using drugs and had been drinking all day Saturday.

MCSO said there were no signs of foul play in Ruiz's death, though the search for his body was suspended Sunday night. It was scheduled to resume at 6 a.m. Monday.