FAIRFIELD — Fairfield police announced late Friday afternoon that a woman found dead early Thursday in the Putah South Canal has been identified as a 41-year-old Fairfield resident.
Police said she was identified with assistance from the Solano County Fingerprint Analysis Unit, according a press release from the Police Department. Her name was withheld pending family notification.
The Solano County Coroner’s Office referred calls about the woman’s name to Fairfield police.
Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigations are both working on the case, since the canal is federal property. A person walking by Thursday morning on the nearby street saw the body in the canal – on the 3200 block of North Texas Street – and reported it.
Investigators on Friday morning were working to figure out how a woman’s body ended up in the canal.
“It’s a complete mystery right now,” Fairfield Sgt. Matt Thomas said.
Investigators don’t know if the death resulted from accident or foul play, Thomas said. They don’t know if the woman went into the canal at the site where she was discovered or drifted a distance in the canal.
The body had clothes on and showed no signs of trauma, he said. It’s unclear how long the body was in the water, he said.
“We suspect it was more than 24 hours, but that’s not confirmed,” Thomas said.
The Putah South Canal is a 30-mile, concrete-lined canal that carries Lake Berryessa reservoir water to farms and to city water treatment plants. Along the way, it passes through Fairfield neighborhoods. Along its sides, it has a cyclone fence topped by razor wire.
But Thomas said there’s erosion along the fence in places where a person might go under it and places where the fence has been repaired. A person who really wanted to get to the canal could do so, he said.
Anyone with information about the woman’s death is asked to call the Fairfield Police Department Major Crimes Unit at 428-7600 or Crime Stopper at 644-7867. Callers may remain anonymous.
Amy Maginnis-Honey contributed to this report. Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.