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Sheriff: Drowning victim is Artesia man


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The person who drowned Wednesday evening at Bottomless Lakes State Park has been identified as 22-year-old Artesia resident Alfredo Osornio.

Chaves County Sheriff Britt Snyder made the announcement Thursday morning, calling the incident a tragedy and saying, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Alfredo Osornio.”

According to Snyder’s account of events, Osornio jumped from high bluffs into a lake and apparently was knocked unconscious when he impacted the water.

Snyder stated that first responders from the Roswell Fire Department, New Mexico State Police and Chaves County Sheriff’s Office were called to the Devil’s Inkwell lake at the state park at about 6:20 p.m. after family members reported that Osornio had jumped from the bluffs on the east side of the lake into the water but had never resurfaced.

Roswell Fire Department personnel and Chaves County deputies entered the water, but they were unable to locate the victim from the surface. A New Mexico State Police dive team member was able to locate the victim at a depth of about 27 feet.

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“We estimate the time under water at about 60 minutes which is far too long to survive in our warm water conditions, and no resuscitation efforts were made,” Snyder said in his announcement. “The estimated height of the bluffs is approximately 200 feet, and that height is dangerous for an experienced diver, much less an inexperienced one. We believe Osornio was likely rendered unconscious upon hitting the water, feet first, and leaning to his left, causing his head to hit the water directly without anything breaking his fall.”

Snyder also reminded people to be aware of the dangers of diving from any height into lakes or rivers.

“We have had many tragedies over the years related to diving incidents,” he said.

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