Port Lavaca man drowned, initial report indicates

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

Jan. 28, 2013 at 9 p.m.
Updated Jan. 28, 2013 at 7:29 p.m.

Port Lavaca police believe an area man drowned early Sunday morning after leaving a party.

Diego Carrizales Martinez, 27, of Port Lavaca, was found dead at Bayfront Peninsula Park about 8 a.m. Sunday.

Upon the initial discovery, the body was submerged in two to three feet of water and had been in the water for about two to four hours, said Port Lavaca Detective Colin Rangnow.

A preliminary account from the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office showed no internal or external trauma, said the detective.

A significant amount of water was found in Martinez's lungs, stomach and sinus cavity, he said.

"All of this would be consistent with somebody who drowned," Rangnow said. "He was definitely alive before he hit the water. Either he didn't know how to swim, or he was highly intoxicated."

Maria Najera, the wife of one of Martinez's former co-workers, said he was not a regular drinker.

"When he used to work with my husband, they would have to beg Diego to drink a beer," said Najera. "Not once had my husband seen him drunk or on a drinking spree. He wasn't that type of person."

Police sources reported they saw Martinez drinking before leaving the party on Broadway Street at 4 a.m. - four hours before his body was found in the water, Rangnow said.

The toxicology report from the medical examiner will take about a month to complete, said the detective.

"That will determine if he had any significant amount of alcohol or drugs or anything like that," Rangnow said.



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