SEATTLE — The body of a man who ran from Border Patrol agents last month has been found by searchers in the Sol Duc River near Forks, authorities said Monday.
The body 43-year-old Benjamin Roldan Salinas was spotted Sunday by a member of a volunteer search party, Clallam County Sheriff’s Sergeant Brian King said. Salinas disappeared on May 14.
Family members identified the body, which already had signs of decomposition, King said.
Salinas and another man were stopped by a U.S. Forest Service officer last month, authorities said. The officer then called Border Patrol for assistance. Arriving agents arrested the other man on an immigration violation.
Salinas took off running and jumped in the river. He was not seen again.
King said Salinas and the other man were harvesting salal, a leathery leaf collected from the forests near Forks and used in the floral industry.
Family, friends and volunteers had been canvassing the river area looking for any signs of Salinas. The search crews were as large as 150 people, with many of them immigrants.
“They needed closure and they believed he was out there somewhere because he hadn’t gone home,” King said.
Border Patrol also searched for the man, though King said agents thought Salinas had made it out of the river. Agent Richard Sinks said that Border Patrol was preparing a statement Monday, but declined to comment further.
King said Salinas has children, though he didn’t know how many. He said he had lived in Forks for 12 years. Authorities believe Salinas is from Mexico. King added that Clallam County doesn’t have any records of criminal history by Salinas, but that he can’t speak for other agencies.
Information from: Peninsula Daily News, http://www.peninsuladailynews.com