L.A. Man Is 5th Person to Die in Kern River Since June; 11-Year-Old Girl Remains Missing

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Search and rescue crews comb a stretch of the Kern River as they look for an 11-year-old girl who has been missing for more than a month. (Credit: Kern County Sheriff's Office)

Search and rescue crews comb a stretch of the Kern River as they look for an 11-year-old girl who has been missing for more than a month. (Credit: Kern County Sheriff’s Office)

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A 45-year-old Los Angeles man has drowned in the Kern River, marking the fifth known death in the river this year, authorities said Wednesday morning.

David Humberto Uceda Velis died after being swept underwater near Lake Ming, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.

Personnel from the Sheriff’s Office and the Bakersfield Fire Department responded after receiving a report of a drowning victim shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Velis was unresponsive by the time he was found and removed from the water.

Rescuers attempted CPR, but the resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Velis is the fifth known person to have died after going into the river in Kern County this year, all since last month.

An 11-year-old Bakersfield girl who fell into the river in the Keysville area on June 22 has not yet been found.

Another search for the missing child was conducted over the weekend involving about 30 people from Kern Valley Search and Rescue, Bakersfield Search and Rescue, and Tehachapi Search and Rescue, authorities said.

Four bodies have been recovered from the river since June.

The victims included cousins from San Bernardino — 16-year-old Ivan Esquivel and 19-year-old Hugo Esquivel — who went missing on June 16, officials said.

Two other young men lost in the river on July 4 were also found dead. Authorities identified them as 22-year-old Allan Aurelio Ramirez of Placentia and 20-year-old Jesus Alberto Perez Bautista of Sylmar.

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