Deputies: Man drowns while looking for ring in Gila River near Avondale

The body of a man was recovered from the Gila River near Avondale on Monday afternoon.
The body of a man was recovered from the Gila River near Avondale on Monday afternoon.(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Nov. 6, 2023 at 3:46 PM MST
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AVONDALE, Ariz (3TV/CBS 5) A tragic end to a search for a ring as a man drowned in the Gila River near Avondale on Sunday.

According to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, 53-year-old Carlos Sanchez and his girlfriend Laura Lopez were looking for a ring while snorkeling in the river near El Mirage and Indian Springs roads. While they were in the water, Lopez felt a current take them under. She came up for air, but he didn’t, so she called 911 around 5 p.m.

The Avondale Police Department and MCSO arrived and searched the area. The MCSO helicopter flew over the river bottom but couldn’t find Sanchez. The search was suspended because it got too dark.

On Monday morning, MCSO’s dive team searched the water and used an underwater robot in the river. Sanchez’s body was found just after 3 p.m. Lopez said they had been to that area before and that Sanchez was a good swimmer.

His body was turned over to the Office of the Medical Examiner, and staff will conduct toxicology tests. No foul play is suspected.

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