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Image of Hwy. 41 Bridge over Fresno River

Deceased Male Found in Fresno River

OAKHURST — Around 5:30 pm on February 2, 2023, a Madera County Sheriff’s Sergeant, on routine patrol, stopped a vehicle in the area of Highway 41 and Highway 49 in Oakhurst after the driver made an illegal lane change and nearly caused a collision.

Photo Courtesy of Laura Young

During the enforcement stop, dispatch advised the Sergeant that the driver, 32-year-old Maurice Snowden, had an active warrant out of Mariposa County. When Snowden was told he would be taken into custody for the

Mariposa warrant, he quickly exited and ran from the vehicle into nearby traffic, evading custody. Deputies searched the area for Snowden but were not able to locate him. Around 6:30 pm, it became too dark to continue effectively searching.

Fresno River Photo courtesy of Laura Young

Later that same evening, a woman called to report she received a call from Snowden, who told her that he was lost and in the river. A search and rescue team, comprised of foot searchers, Madera County Sheriff’s UAV Unit, and Fresno County Sheriff’s Eagle 1 helicopter, was immediately deployed. Teams searched through the night but were unable to locate Snowden.

Around 10 am on February 3, 2023, deputies located Snowden in the Fresno River. Madera County Sheriff’s Detectives responded to the scene and are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death. The investigation remains ongoing, although there does not appear to be any signs of foul play. Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact Madera County Sheriff’s Detectives at (559) 675-7770.

Image of Madera County Coroners Van at the Fresno River

Photo Courtesy of Laura Young


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