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PD: Body found in canal was missing Chandler man

Chandler body in canal
Posted at 10:47 AM, Jan 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-26 19:46:57-05

CHANDLER — Chandler police have confirmed the body found in the canal at Chandler Boulevard and Cooper Road Saturday morning is that of 85-year-old Samuel Contreras, who went missing late Friday night.

Contreras left his group home located at 217 N. Washington St. in Chandler around 11 p.m. Friday night, according to Chandler police. A Silver Alert was issued for the 85-year-old, who left the group home he’d been living at for four day.

Police say Contreras suffered from dementia,and believed he was trying to return to his family in Mesa or board a bus to Mexico.

Contreras’ body was found around 9 a.m. Saturday morning when a couple out for a morning walk saw a pair of shoes sticking out of the water.

The couple called 9-1-1, and once on scene, police determined they would need to recover a body rather than rescue a living person.

Police say the body was stuck in a baffle, a device that controls the flow of water through this particular region of the canal.

It is unclear at this time how Contreras ended up in the canal, but police can confirm he was the person found Saturday morning.

ABC15 spoke to Contreras' daughter, who went to the scene when she heard news of a body in the water.

She told ABC15 that her father had been having memory problems of late, and she wanted him to be in a group home that helped people with his condition.

Police say when they were trying to find Contreras Friday night, his cell phone signal was located heading eastbound on West Chandler Boulevard toward Cooper Road, where his body was later found.

Police do not suspect foul play.