Missing Gold River man found dead in American River, sheriff’s office says

A Gold River man who had been missing since June 10, when his parked vehicle was found at Sacramento State’s aquatic center, was found dead a week later in the American River, Sacramento County Sheriff’s officials and the coroner’s office said.

Vijay Kumar, 59, was located June 17 after a passerby spotted his body near the Sunrise Bridge, about two miles west of the Sacramento State Aquatic Center at the mouth of Lake Natoma, sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Tess Deterding said Monday.

Deterding said there were no signs of foul play in Kumar’s death.

Prior to the discovery of the body, family members and loved ones launched a search campaign for the missing man, with more than 100 people showing up for a community event to support the family the weekend before his body was found.

Kumar’s wife, Madhur, told The Sacramento Bee in a phone interview the morning of June 17 that her husband was a biomedical scientist who was amid a career change, but called him a “very stable” person and outdoorsy, frequently taking hourlong trips to Lake Natoma. The family lived about 5 minutes from the lake, she said.

A Facebook page set up before Kumar’s body was found, called “Search for Vijay Kumar,” announced Wednesday evening that Kumar had passed away and asked for privacy. A Thursday post to that page contained a message written by Madhur Kumar.

“I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your sincere efforts and support,” she wrote. “I still cannot believe that this happened and I am still trying to come to terms with it. My family and I will never forget how you all stood by our side during this crisis.”

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Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.