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July 7, 2014
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2 bodies found in Colo. River

Two bodies were pulled from the Colorado River on Saturday, one near Rifle and one in Grand County near its border with Eagle County.

The one found in Garfield County has not been identified, but no foul play was immediately suspected.

A Garfield County statement said that at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, deputies were called to a site parallel to I-70 between mile marker 90 and 91 where a group of rafters spotted a body.

The body was retrieved by search and rescue personnel and will undergo an autopsy. The coroner will try to determine the identity of the person, after which the next of kin will be notified.

In Grand County, boaters from Avon and Glenwood Springs were rafting the river with friends. As they cleared the Needles Eye Rapids between Pumphouse and Radium, they spotted two inflatable rubber canoes flipped over, and a life jacket floating in the water.

One of the boaters, who asked that their names not be used, said they spotted one man near the side of the river, exhausted after struggling to get out of the water. About the same time they spotted a second man, motionless and floating in the river.

They pulled him into their boat and started CPR, but could get no response.

Other boaters had alerted authorities and they were met at Radium by emergency medical technicians from Eagle County and Grand County Sheriff’s deputies, who transported the body.

Grand County Coroner Brenda Bock identified the drowning victim as William Fliris, 67, of Lusk, Wyoming. He had the correct gear, but the life jacket did not appear to be properly secured, said the boaters who found Fliris.


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The Aspen Times Updated Jul 8, 2014 10:16AM Published Jul 8, 2014 05:29PM Copyright 2014 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.