Night hike turns deadly for Estacada man
- Evan Jensen
- Estacada News - News
CCSO recovers body from Estacada Lake
A dive team from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office recovered the body of an Estacada man early Wednesday morning, July 22, after the victim had slipped from a hiking trail and fallen 20 feet into the river the night before.
Juan "Elis" Mukul, age 24, did not know how to swim and was walking along an upper shoreline trail around 2 a.m. with a group of others who were following the path illuminated only by the light of a cell phone, when he slipped and fell into Estacada Lake just above River Mill Dam on the Clackamas River in Estacada, according to police reports.
'The deceased was located in an estimated 40 feet of water, in the immediate vicinity of where he reportedly had fallen in earlier in the morning,' CCSO Public Information Officer Jim Strovink said. 'Divers concentrated near the north shore area of Estacada Lake, in the Forest Road and Lakeshore Road area…'
Mukul was walking with his brother-in-law when he lost his footing and fell off the trail and into the river. His brother-in-law told authorities Mukul did not know how to swim and believed he had been drinking at the time of the accident. Mukul immediate family lives in Mexico, and authorities believe he recently arrived in Oregon and has a current passport, but little else is currently known about him at this time, Strovink said.
A member of the hiking party called 911 around 2 a.m. on July 22, when they heard a large splash in the dark waters below and realized Mukul had wandered from the trail.
'The male subject reported to dispatchers his intoxicated friend had fallen from a 20-foot embankment … directly into the water,' Strovink said. 'Only a large splash was detected and that was the last time this missing male was seen or heard by his companion.'
Searchers looked for the victim just after the 911 call was made, but did not locate the body until sunrise on July 22. The Clackamas County Water Rescue Consortium dive team arrived just before 6 a.m. and recovered the body. The CCSO Marine Unit and Dive Team, Estacada Rural Fire District, Boring Fire, American Medical Response, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, Gladstone Fire and Clackamas Fire District No. 1 participated in the rescue effort.