Body recovered after being swept away by arroyo waters near Carlsbad, NM

El Paso News

El Paso, Texas (KTSM) – The body of a 63-year-old man has been recovered after being swept away by the Dark Canyon Draw Arroyo near Carlsbad, New Mexico.

The man has been identified as John Paul Koch, 63. Initial reports indicated that Koch was driving a 2003 Jeep Wrangler and was traveling west on Radio Boulevard.

For unknown reasons, Koch drove past road-closed barricades and into flood water that was rapidly flowing over the roadway. The Jeep overturned several times and was swept away in the Dark Canyon Draw Arroyo. 

The New Mexico State Police, was alerted at around 10:00 p.m. on June 29, indicating that a vehicle drove into flowing floodwaters near the intersection of Boyd Drive and Monterrey Road in Carlsbad.

First responders from the Carlsbad Police Department along with Carlsbad Fire Department, and Eddy County Fire and Rescue attempted an immediate rescue but were unable to deploy swift water rescue teams due to the high volume and intensity of the water. 

The decision was made to delay recovery efforts until floodwaters subsided to a safe level for personnel to enter the water.

The New Mexico State Police Dive Team was activated and on June 30, 2021, at around 7:00 p.m. State Police divers recovered Koch’s body.  The body was sent to the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque for autopsy and identification. 

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