Body found in creek identified

December 31, 2008 1:50:40 PM PST
A body found Monday in a Santa Clara County creek bed has been identified as Christopher Lee Struckmann of Milpitas, who was reported missing by coworkers last week, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.

Employees at the Summitpointe Golf Course reported 27-year-old Struckmann missing around 6 p.m. Friday.

The sheriff's office and the San Jose and Milpitas police departments searched the area with the help of a San Jose police helicopter but did not find Struckmann, who was said to have been upset over personal issues and was considered at-risk.

On Sunday, a hiker on the Calera Creek Trail in the Ed R. Levin County Park found a sweatshirt near the trail's entrance, the sheriff's office reported.

Realizing that the sweatshirt matched the description released by police of the clothing Struckmann was wearing when he disappeared, the hiker reported the find.

Authorities searched the park and found the body around 2:30 p.m. Monday, in a creek bed about 100 feet from the trail, according to the sheriff's office.

The cause of his death is still being investigated.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Sgt. Lera at the sheriff's office at (408) 808-4500. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call (408) 808-4431.

Meanwhile, another missing-person case out of Milpitas remains open.

Donna Mae Dowell, 68, was reported missing from her Milpitas home around 4:15 p.m. on Dec. 21, police said.

Dowell has recently been depressed and mentioned suicide, police said. Investigators learned Dowell may have suffered an injury at her home on Yosemite Drive before disappearing.

Milpitas police said Dowell's vehicle is also missing, which means she could have traveled outside the area.

"She could be anywhere," Milpitas police Sgt. Daryl Sequeira said. The vehicle is a silver, four-door 2002 Honda Accord with California license plate No. 4VAB793.

She is described as white, about 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighing 155 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Dowell or her vehicle is asked to call Milpitas police at (408) 586-2400. To remain anonymous, call (408) 586-2500 or visit


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