Stanislaus County Man’s Body Found After Family Searches For More Than a Year

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

UPDATE: Investigators confirmed on July 2 that it was Denys that was found in the Stanislaus River.

STANISLAUS COUNTY -- More than a year after a Riverbank man went missing, his family says he was finally found this past weekend.

John Denys’ family say the body found in the Stanislaus River last week was his.

Denys' daughter says that though they have found her dad’s body, the search for answers isn’t over yet.

Ashely Baldonado shared a recording of a phone conversation with her father with FOX 40.

“You’re freaking old man, your hair is falling out,” Baldonado joked.

“Shut up!” Denys said with a laugh.

It’s a carefree laugh that Denys shares with his family; captured on cell phone video now, a loving moment that will be forever cherished.

“From the beginning we had a very bad feeling and whatever that was our intuition that something was wrong,” Baldonado said.

Baldonado says the coroner has confirmed with her family that the body that was found in the Stanislaus River last weekend is her father’s.

"We’re glad that we have him, that we’re going to be able to bring him home, but we have so many questions,” Baldonado stated.

Baldonado says her dad was homeless but loved ones always made sure he had a roof over his head. He was in constant contact with them.

But last May — after Denys had missed birthdays, had not called and had not visited -- his family became worried and filed a report.

“Denys’ family says he was last seen in April of 2017, since that time his family has been up and down the river searching for him. They have never lost hope.”

“Always felt drawn to come here and only now do we realize and do we think that he was drawing us here so that we could find him,” said Baldonado.

In their heart wrenching search, they discovered disturbing theories.

“Stories that involved him from the very beginning being buried at the river and those things were really, really hard to hear and heartbreaking,” Baldonado said.

Although his death is shrouded in mystery, his family will never stop fighting for the truth.

“We do want justice so if there is anybody out there, who knows anything, then we are just begging and pleading if they will please let the police know,” said Baldonado.

The family has also set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s department has not confirmed that the remains found are Denys’. FOX40 is waiting for the department’s response.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.