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Body discovered in the Jordan River identified as missing man

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SOUTH JORDAN — The body of a man found in the Jordan River Sunday has been identified as a man reported missing by West Jordan police a month ago.

The body of Nathaniel Vamvas, 24, was spotted in the river Sunday by people who were walking along the Jordan Parkway Trail near 10000 South. Vamvas was last seen by family members on March 18.

West Jordan Police Sgt. Dan Roberts said that on that day, Vamvas and his wife went to Jordan Valley Medical Center, 3580 West 9000 South, for undisclosed treatment. After the couple were separated for the treatment for a few hours, Vamvas reportedly changed his mind and didn't want to go through the treatment any longer and walked out of the hospital, Roberts said. He tried calling his wife but couldn't get a hold of her, he said.

West Jordan police issued a press release on Vamvas on March 28 for residents to be on the lookout for the missing man.

In March, family members told the media that Vamvas spent about two hours at the emergency room and was disoriented when he walked away from the hospital. He then reportedly fell into a nearby ditch before going to the Salt Lake Community College Jordan campus, where he was recorded by a campus surveillance camera. Vamvas, while covered in mud, also reportedly talked to a girl on campus and asked to use her phone.

South Jordan police on Monday said there were no signs of foul play, and that it appeared the body had been in the water for several weeks. An autopsy on the body had not been completed as of Monday afternoon.

Roberts said that although there were no obvious signs of trauma, his department was "not going to rule anything out" until the autopsy results, including toxicology, were completed.

"The fact he disappeared like he did and showed up in the river weeks later is suspicious," he said.

Roberts said there was no initial indication that Vamvas was suicidal. He is survived by his wife and an 8-month-old child. The family had recently moved to Utah from California when he went missing, and he reportedly was not familiar with the area.


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Pat Reavy


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