According to a press release from the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office, the body of 17-year-old Connor Imus was recovered at the Drop Five Hydroelectric Generation Plant near Pahgre Road and South Canal. The cause of death is still under investigation, but early signs point to drowning.

According to the Sheriff’s Office as reported by the Daily Sentinel, the high school basketball star was likely taking his dog for a walk when the accident occurred. KKTV reports that the boy likely saw his dog struggling in the water, jumping in to help. The dog’s body was also found, also likely to have drowned.

The part of the canal where the teen is believed to have drowned is filled with deceivingly fast water with undercurrents. Entering the canal is not advised.

This situation is quite similar to the 2010 death of local radio DJ Rick Steele. Steele is believed to have jumped into the same canal after his dog. In that case, the dog survived. Another drowning incident occurred in 2014 in the Montrose area in which Grayson Burris, 17, drowned while trying to save a friend in Escalante Creek.

Further updates on this story will be posted here.

Here’s a look at where Pahgre Road is in relation to the canal (South Canal is right of the marker).

The Montrose County Sheriff’s Posse helped with the search for the missing teen, along with the Uncompahgre Valley Water User’s Association and Delta-Montrose Electric Association. Friends and family also helped. The Montrose County Sheriff’s Office offers its condolences, thoughts, and prayers to the family and community.

As Colorado starts to warm up, water spots will become more trafficked around the state. Exercising caution around Colorado’s water is crucial. Do not enter unfamiliar water, as under-tows and currents may not be apparent on the surface. It’s also important to be aware of the dangers associated with jumping into cold water. This can cause something called “cold shock response,” which can result in involuntary inhalation. Cold water can also result in a heart attack or cardiac arrest.

It’s also important to note that high levels of snowmelt will have water in many creeks and rivers moving quickly and at high levels during this time of the year. Some places around Colorado are already starting to issue warnings, including Silverthorne, which has issued a warning about Blue River.

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