Body found in Placer County canal ID’d

A body retrieved last week from a Placer County canal has been identified.

The body was identified as James Pascual Rodriguez, 30, of Grass Valley, said Lt. Nelson Resendes, public information officer for the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. When discovered the body was only partially clothed with its feet bound. Following a Tuesday autopsy, medical examiners determined Rodriguez died as a result of head trauma.

“We’re investigating it as a homicide with foul play involved,” said Resendes. “We’re currently working on the case, and we’re actively looking at all persons involved in it.”

The deceased had been submerged for approximately five days when his body was recovered, the Sheriff’s Office estimated, so he could not have been a victim of the River Fire, since it had not yet started.

Rodriguez was discovered by a PG&E crew that had been clearing water grates around noon Friday. He was discovered in a wooded parcel close to Peaceful Valley Road, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Water was stopped for almost a half day to proceed with the investigation.

William Roller is a staff writer with The Union, a sister publication to the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at

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