Deputies Investigate Body Found in Escalon Canal

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The San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office is investigating a body discovered in an irrigation canal near Escalon, calling the death suspicious.

The body was found off Henry Road near River Road, half submerged in water.

Mike and Joni Brunetti own the land on both sides of the irrigation canal and directly next to where the body was found.

"It's disturbing, it really is," Joni Brunetti said. "It is our backyard, so yeah, to wake up to that, is not real good."

Joni Brunetti told FOX40 the body was discovered by a man who was driving by in his truck on Henry Road around 10:40 a.m. Sunday.

The San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office has yet to release specific details, although detectives told FOX40 they were working on a statement.

Detectives and deputies spent most of the day getting the body out of the canal and examining it for clues. It's unclear if this is a homicide, suicide or an accidental drowning. Although there are no swimming signs posted nearby, the Brunettis said that's never been an issue.

"Never have seen anyone swimming in it. I've jumped in it a couple of times myself, but you never see people swimming for recreation or anything like that," Mike Brunetti said.

But the Brunettis said around 2:30 Sunday morning, their dogs' barking woke them up.

"Usually they calm down after a few minutes and they were carrying on for quite a long time so," Mike Brunetti said.

At the time, Joni Brunetti said she heard an engine in the area, but didn't think anything of it until after the body was discovered.

"Truck or car I can't tell, I didn't see it, but it turned off and within about 10, 15 minutes it started back up, and I could hear it take off," she said. "All I can think of is, if we would have came out, what would we have (done). I mean there was somebody definitely there last night... It's kinda scary, kinda creepy."

The identity of the body will be released by the San Joaquin County Coroner's Office.

Meanwhile Joni Brunetti said she got a good look at the body, and it appears to be that of a white male.

Stay tuned to FOX40 and for updates on this developing story.

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