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Police identify man in car pulled from Utah Lake

By Pat Reavy | Posted - Mar. 23, 2012 at 5:37 p.m.


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AMERICAN FORK — A car with the body of a Lehi man inside was pulled out of Utah Lake just before midnight Thursday.

Investigators Friday were trying to determine whether James C. Mehner, 42, ended up in the lake as a result of an accident, foul play or a suicide.

Just before midnight, a fisherman called 911 reporting that he and some friends found a vehicle about 30 yards from the ramp of the American Fork boat harbor.

"At the time the witnesses saw the car originally, it was still above water. By the time we got there, it had been completely submerged" in 10 feet of water, said Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Shawn Chipman.

"We actually had to dive down to the vehicle, hook it up. Upon pulling the vehicle out we did find a deceased individual," said Utah County Sheriff's Lt. Darren Gilbert.

The death was being treated as an "unattended death." There were no obvious signs of trauma on Mehner's body, which was found in the driver's seat, Chipman said. An autopsy will be conducted to determine a cause of death, he said.

Mehner's family told police they were shocked upon hearing the discovery.

He was divorced in February, according to court records. He is survived by three children. Mehner had no criminal record, according to Utah court records, outside of a couple of minor traffic violations.

Contributing: Shara Park and Randall Jeppesen

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Pat Reavy

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