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Body found in river near Rattlesnake Point

MALOTT - An autopsy will be conducted this week on the remains of a man found floating in the Okanogan River on March 16 at Rattlesnake Point south of town.

The body has not yet been identified, but Okanogan County Coroner Dave Rodriguez said investigators “strongly suspect” the remains to be those of Malott resident Marco Antonio Aguilar-Cendejas, 26, who was reported missing in December 2016.

Two kayakers reported at 2:44 p.m. that they’d come across the body, Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office reports show.

Sheriff Frank Rogers said the body was stuck in brush about 10 feet from shore.

The kayakers stayed on scene until sheriff’s deputies arrived, put a boat in the water and retrieved the body.

Aguilar-Cendejas’ family was notified that a body had been found; DNA was taken in case it is needed to help identify the body, Rogers said.

Rodriguez said the body is not readily identifiable. The autopsy should help determine identity - using such things as X-rays, evidence of injuries, body measurements, implants in the body and dental records - and cause of death.

If those means cannot determine identity, then DNA will be used, with results expected to take weeks or months, he said.

Rogers said there is no indication about the cause of death. The body was clothed.

Aguilar-Cendejas was last seen near Malott the morning of Dec. 14, said Rogers.

“We know he rode the bus up to Okanogan three days before he disappeared and that is the last we know,” Rogers said. “We have checked several areas, walked along the river the best we could, but (have) nothing else to go on at this time.”

The sheriff’s office was contacted by Aguilar-Cendejas’ family, who said they had not seen him and were concerned for his mental health, he said.

Aguilar-Cendejas, described as being 5 feet 9 inches tall with black hair, was last seen wearing a black and white beanie hat, dark brown jack and blue jeans.

Rodriguez said the body is not believed to be that of Peter B. Greene, who walked away from Apple Springs Senior Living the evening of Jan. 21, 2012, and hasn’t been seen since. Greene was 79 when he disappeared.

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