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Russian River drowning victim identified as homeless man

Sunday's death of a man in the Russian River remained under investigation Monday by Sonoma County sheriff's detectives.

A sheriff's official Monday identified the victim as Eric Wall, 35. Wall was known to law enforcement officers as a homeless man.

He died before dawn after falling into the river near Moscow Road in Monte Rio.

There was no obvious trauma to his body. Because it remained unclear what happened before he went into the water, detectives were looking into the death, said Lt. Steve Brown.

Other transients in the area reported hearing someone crashing through brush and then a big splash, he said.

While some searched the river for him, others ran to alert Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman, who lives in the area.

The searchers found the man and began CPR, but the man couldn't be revived, according to police.


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