SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The body of a man who went missing after jumping from a disabled houseboat into the Sacramento River on Wednesday night was found this weekend in the water near Sacramento International Airport, officials said on Sunday.
A fisherman located the body Saturday evening along the Yolo County side of the river after a days-long search by multiple agencies. Investigators with the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office were in the area and were notified about the finding, then contacted the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office about the body at around 11 p.m.
The Sutter County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the body to be Ronald Milton Belke Jr., 58, of Sacramento, who jumped into the river Wednesday night. He was last seen trying to swim to shore from the disabled houseboat near W. Elverta Road and Garden Highway, according to a Sacramento Fire Department spokesperson.
According to the sheriff’s office, a caller Wednesday night reported that Belke had not been seen for around two hours after he had jumped in the river and swam toward Simard’s Boat Dock. Belke reportedly was with another person on the boat, which Belke had just bought, when it started having mechanical problems, so he jumped to get assistance onshore.
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The other person inside the boat told the reporting party that Belke was about three-fourths of the way to shore when they looked away from Belke and went back to continue working on the mechanical problems. Authorities said the other person told them that Belke did not appear to be in any distress while swimming.