A body believed to belong to the Glen Ellen man who was missing and presumed dead after an Aug. 9 boating accident in Lake Berryessa was found Monday in the lake, Napa County Sheriff’s Capt. Doug Pike said.
Roger “Deets” Winslow, 49, a psychiatric technician at Sonoma Developmental Center and longtime coach of the Sonoma Valley High School wrestling team, was driving his boat along a section of the lake called The Narrows with two passengers when the boat rocked suddenly back and forth and threw him into the water, the Sheriff’s Office said in a previous interview.
His passengers circled back to get him but only found signs that he had been significantly injured, possibly by the boat’s propeller, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
His family described him as an expert boater who never took chances on the water.
A sheriff’s investigation found that the accident was likely caused by a mechanical failure that shut down one of the engines, causing the boat to jerk to the side, Pike said.
Winslow’s mother-in-law, Patricia Sorenson, said the news, about five weeks after Winslow went missing, brought his family a measure of relief to know what had happened as well as a great deal of sadness.
“This definitely is closure for the family, especially his children,” said Sorenson. “Now the healing can begin.”
Winslow was married and had three children, ages 13, 14 and 22.
The family held a celebration of life for Winslow on Aug. 23 at Sonoma Valley High School and more than 1,000 people attended.
The sheriff’s Marine Patrol Unit and Dive team, aided by the Santa Clara and Marin County sheriff’s offices, found the body in about 160 feet of water, Pike said. They used an unmanned robot to bring the body to a depth where divers could safely retrieve it.
The Napa County Sheriff’s Office has tentatively identified the body as Winslow’s through a distinctive tattoo.
An autopsy to be conducted later in the week will seek to determine the cause of death.
Staff Writer Jamie Hansen blogs about education at extracredit.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach her at 521-5205 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @jamiehansen.