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Castaic drowning victim identified

Posted: August 31, 2008 8:31 p.m.
Updated: November 2, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 
A Los Angeles County Coroner's official identified Omar Pinto as the victim in Saturday's drowning at Castaic Lake.

Pinto, who lived in Sylmar, was 29 years old.

Los Angeles County Fire got the call at approximately 2:50 p.m., Saturday, that a swimmer in Castaic Lake was missing. A fire engine from station 149 as well as a rescue helicopter were sent to the scene and began rescue operations, said L.A. County Fire dispatcher Michael Pittman. Firefighters found Pinto's body at 3:52 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The circumstances surrounding the incident are still being investigated," said Hugo Maldonado, chief lake lifeguard. Maldonado declined further comment on the incident.

A medical examination is scheduled for Monday, said Lt. Cheryl MacWillie of the Coroner's office. Early indications show Pinto was the victim of a drowning, but the medical examination will give a clear picture of the cause of death, she said. It is unclear whether the medical examiner will perform a toxicology exam, MacWillie added.

People swimming or boating in Castaic Lake are advised to always wear a life jacket, Maldonado said. He didn't say whether Pinto was wearing a life jacket or not.

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