A 75-year-old Willows man was found dead in an irrigation ditch on Saturday morning, more than eight hours after a California Highway Patrol officer responded to a call of a single-vehicle traffic collision and discovered the man’s abandoned car in a nearby rice field.
On Monday, the Colusa County Sheriff/Coroner’s Office confirmed the identity of the man as Hoover Mock.
According to a press release from the California Highway Patrol, an officer working the graveyard shift responded to the call at about 1:43 AM on Saturday.
The officer arrived on scene at 2:03 AM, when they discovered that the vehicle, a 2011 BMW, had been abandoned, with a wallet and walking cane on the front seat.
The responding officer searched the area around the car in all directions, and requested a welfare check on the registered owner’s residence.
The Glenn County Sheriff’s Office responded to Mock’s home, but received no response at the residence, the CHP said the press release.
At daybreak, the Williams Area CHP’s day-shift officer arrived at the scene of the crash to complete a search of the area, receiving assistance from the Northern Division Air Operations, which conducted “a systemic search of the area.”
At about 10:15 AM, the CHP helicopter was flagged down by someone on a four-wheeler, who was waving at them near an irrigation ditch.
The officer on the ground contacted the individual on the four-wheeler, and learned that there was a body partially submerged in an irrigation ditch.
The officer located the body and requested that the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office respond for further investigation. The Colusa County Sheriff’s Office identified the body as Mock, and will complete the investigation of the death, while the Williams Area CHP office will complete the initial traffic collision report, the report said.
The CHP said that foul play does not appear to be a factor in the death at this time.