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Roseville man dies in Lake Oroville after disappearing from houseboat

Heavy clouds enshroud Lake Oroville, Oroville Dam and the surrounding hills on Feb. 20, 2017.
Heavy clouds enshroud Lake Oroville, Oroville Dam and the surrounding hills on Feb. 20, 2017. The Sacramento Bee

The body of a man who disappeared off of a houseboat on Lake Oroville early Saturday morning has been found, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Officers pronounced Roseville resident John Tobias, 41, dead on scene after finding his body 200 feet beneath the lake’s surface near Bidwell Canyon Marina.

Tobias and his friends drank heavily Friday night on the houseboat, said Aaron Wright, California State Parks superintendent for the Oroville region.

At about 2:50 a.m. Saturday morning, one of Tobias’s friends called the sheriff’s office. She said she heard a splash, looked for Tobias, and couldn’t find him, Wright said.

California State Parks officers responded to the incident along with the sheriff’s office’s Marine Unit and Search and Rescue teams. They searched above the water in the surrounding area, including nearby houseboats, and the Marine Unit used a sonar-equipped Remotely Operated Vehicle to explore beneath the surface, according to the sheriff’s office.

At about 5 a.m., the ROV located Tobias’ body underwater, and officers assisted in bringing him to the surface, the sheriff’s office said.

The Butte County Coroner’s Office, which was closed over the weekend, had not released a cause of death as of Sunday morning.

California State Parks were investigating the incident as of Sunday afternoon.

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