The Irvine Police Department on Wednesday, March 23 reported the body of a 20-year-old male Irvine resident that was recovered in a flood control channel off Michelson Drive in Irvine, after being reported missing by his family a day prior.

The body of Christian Nathang Cruz was recovered by an Urban Search and Rescue team
on Wednesday. The man was found approximately three miles from the L.A. Fitness where he was last seen by a family member.

Cruz, who was reportedly developmentally disabled, was dropped off at LA Fitness inside the Park Place by his mother at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, according to IPD. She would return to pick up her son at 9:30 p.m but was unable to locate him.

On Wednesday, the department wrote that it was working with the Orange County Fire Authority, which was providing aerial support during the search for Cruz.

He was last seen by authorities on LA Fitness surveillance video leaving the gym by himself at approximately 8:00 p.m. At approximately 8:15 p.m., he is seen on surveillance video returning to the LA Fitness, but walking in the direction of the San Diego Creek Trail, according to a press release.

“He was seen walking towards the San Diego Creek Trail in an eastern direction. About 15-20 minutes later, he was seen walking back towards LA Fitness and down into the flood control channel by himself,” IPD released in a statement. “Officers followed the channel south and located Cruz’s body at 11:56 a.m, on Wednesday, approximately 3 miles from where he was last seen. The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) and members of the Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR) responded to recover Cruz from the water.”

Irvine Police also reported that Cruz’s phone was later found inside a locker inside the LA Fitness men’s locker room.

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