Siskiyou County Sheriffs’ Office (SCSO) Major Crimes Unit (MCU) detectives and SCSO’s Chief Deputy Coroner, have identified the man recovered from the Klamath River during the early-evening hours of April 20, 2020.  The man has been identified as Mr. Egbert Pepper, 57, most recently of Happy Camp, but previously from the San Bernardino County (CA) area. On April 20 at about 6:39 p.m., SCSO Deputy Sammy Woods, working in the Happy Camp area, received a citizen’s report of a body floating in the Klamath River.

Deputy Woods responded to a river location near the Independence Creek Bridge and observed a body floating in the river near the bridge. The location is located approximately 13.7 miles west of Happy Camp along the SR 96 corridor. Deputy Woods reported his observations and SCSO Sergeant Josh Tygart responded and requested assistance from Karuk Tribal Security Officer Randy White, who operates a newly acquired tribal boat that was purchased for river-type operations and rescues. Officer White responded to assist with the tribal watercraft, and the body was successfully retrieved from the river. It was confirmed at that time that the man was deceased. SCSO’s MCU was notified and a follow-up investigation has been on-going to help investigators determine the cause and manner of death in Mr. Pepper’s case.

The decedent’s death is still considered suspicious; however, after an autopsy and results of the on-going investigation, the cause and manner of death have still not been determined. Such death investigations are routinely handled as homicides until otherwise determined by detectives to involve another manner of death.

According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, “On behalf of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, I would like to take this opportunity to offer our thoughts and prayers to Mr. Pepper, his family, friends, and associates.  According to detectives, their investigation has revealed Mr. Pepper was last seen alive on March 7, 2020 in the Happy Camp area.

Anyone with information about   this case or Mr. Pepper’s activities or whereabouts on or after March 7 is encouraged to contact detectives by calling the SCSO’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.”