PITTSFIELD -- Authorities on Friday officially identified the man who drowned last week in the west branch of the Housatonic River as an 18-year-old California resident who had apparently been traveling across the country.
Christian Giovanni Marquez of Los Angeles was officially identified by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. His body was brought to the Medical Examiner's office after being pulled from the river on June 26.
Police believe that Marquez had only been in the Berkshires for a few days prior to the incident. Two Pittsfield residents who had been with Marquez when the incident occurred knew the victim only as "Raccoon."
According to authorities, Marquez went under water while swimming in the river near the century-old Tel-Electric Dam on Mill Street the morning of June 25.
His body was recovered in a grate located in an intake valve for the dam's spillway. Authorities located Marquez's body on the afternoon of June 25, but were unable to remove it until the following afternoon. Marquez's body was drawn into the intake valve, pinned against a grate, then held in place by both a whirlpool and water pressure, Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski said.
To recover his body, rescuers used a crane to lower a large aluminum plate into the river to stop the flow of water into the spillway, Czerwinski said.