Body found in canal outside of Benton City

BENTON COUNTY, Wash. -- The body of a young man was found in a canal outside Benton City today. Crews working at the The Chandler Canal station spotted the man in the water. Crews near Benton City were getting ready to clean the water system when they made an unexpected discovery. The body of a 31 year old man.

This raking system right behind me is used to take the leaves out of the canal water, they then dump on to a conveyor belt right behind it, that's exactly where his body was found.

Alvaro Lopez-Ibarra didn't have any obvious injuries like stab or gun shot wounds.

"He has some cuts, scrapes and things. we're uncertain at this time if those are from being in the canal from being against the canal or things like that," said John Hansens.

Authorities are not sure how long he was in the water. But at least a couple hours. Lopez-Ibarra was last seen walking away from a home just up the road from the pumping station. Crews originally planned to lower the canal and search for a car but later decided it was likely the man was on foot. He was not reported missing to the Sheriff's Department.

"We were contacted not too long ago by some friends that were out looking for him," said Sergeant Bob Brockman.

Deputies believe the 31 year old lived and worked in the Benton City area. The coroner has not decided if an autopsy will be performed.

The canal water is for Kennewick irrigation district. There was no disruption of water service.