UPD identifies Holladay drowning victim as Kearns man

Searchers are shown on the scene of drowning in Holladay on Monday, May 10, 2021. Photo: Salt Lake County Sheriff's SAR

HOLLADAY, Utah, May 11, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Unified Police officials on Tuesday identified the man who drowned Monday in a private pond in a gated community in Holladay.

“The victim from the kayak accident yesterday is Melvin Danilo Castro, age, 35, of Kearns,” a UPD statement says. “Our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

The man and several friends, who were reportedly construction workers on a job inside the gated community, got permission to take the kayaks into the pond.

Castro was not wearing a flotation device, and could not swim. When his kayak overturned, he was dumped into the frigid water, and likely was stunned by the sudden cold, Sgt. Melody Cutler, UPD spokeswoman, told reporters at the scene.

A statement from Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue says the man’s friends tried to save him in the dark water.

“His friends immediately began to attempt to rescue him, but could not get him out of the water,” it says. “They lost sight of him as he went under the water.”

The long shadows of law enforcement officers can be seen standing nearby as searchers attempt to locate the body of a drowned man at a pond in Holladay on Monday, May 10, 2021. Photo: Salt Lake County SAR

SLCo SAR crews were called out at 8:07 p.m.

“Once Salt Lake County Search and Rescue arrived a SAR dive team was put in the water to try and locate the man,” the statement says. “The pond was approximately 20 feet deep and 52 degrees. With almost no visibility, it took the dive team about 35 minutes to locate and retrieve the victim.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends at this time.”

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