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Body found inside car submerged in Jordan River

SALT LAKE CITY — A deceased woman was found Sunday inside a car that was submerged upside-down in the Jordan River, according to police.

The vehicle was discovered about 4 p.m. by a man who regularly walks the area on the south side of North Temple near 1000 West, though it is not near a roadway, according to Salt Lake Police Lt. Eddie Cameron.

When rescue crews arrived, Cameron noted that the bottom side of the small, white SUV was dry and a log had washed up on it, indicating it had been there since at least Saturday.

When crews began pulling the car from the river, they discovered a woman, about 30-years-old, inside.

"We're not identifying her right now because we haven't notified all the next of kin, but we do think we know who it is," said Cameron, who noted she was from the Wasatch Front.

The lieutenant said it appears the vehicle may have been driving on railroad tracks when it fell off the bridge and into the river. The woman didn't appear to be wearing a seatbelt because of how she was laying across the seats, he said.

Cameron said police don't suspect foul play, but it's unclear why the woman would have been in the area. He said the investigation was ongoing to see what might have brought her there, including a toxicology report to determine whether she was intoxicated.

"What we've been able to visually inspect initially, there has been nothing that looked suspicious as far as any cause of death other than driving into the river and drowning," he said. "It doesn't happen often, but we do have cars that end up in the river. But it's not usually here, so yeah, we're definitely treating it as suspicious."

Cameron said investigators searched the area for items or other people who may have been in the vehicle, though family members of the woman say it's likely she was alone.

Mike Christensen, who lives nearby, agreed that the incident was "suspicious."

"I can't imagine how the car would have ended up in the river," Christensen said. "It's sad. It's disheartening to see something like this happen. It's sad to have it happen in your own neighborhood.

"I just hope we don't have many more things like this in the future," he said.

Contributing: Nicole Vowell

Email: mjacobsen@deseretnews.com

Twitter: MorganEJacobsen