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Drowning victim in San Jose identified as Caltrans employee

A drowning victim found floating in a creek near the Alviso Marina last Saturday has been identified as a missing Caltrans employee, according to the California Highway Patrol.

On Friday, the Santa Clara County medical examiner's office identified the body as 54-year-old James Allan Collier, of Clearlake. According to CHP Officer Art Montiel, Collier was a Caltrans employee who was reported missing on May 16.

Montiel said that on May 16, officers received a call about a Caltrans tow vehicle that was suspiciously parked in a substation at the state Highway 92 eastbound turnout at the base of the San Mateo Bridge. The driver was not observed in the area, and responding officers were not able to locate the driver.

After inspecting the vehicle, officers ruled out foul play and the tow truck was secured by CHP for possible evidence analysis.

Crews on a rescue boat recovered Collier's remains on May 24 after a kayaker reported seeing a body in the water at about 10:15 a.m. in the channels north of Alviso Marina County Park, according to the San Jose Fire Department

A Cal Fire helicopter confirmed the location of the body and rescue boats were deployed to the area one mile east of the Alviso Slough in Coyote Creek.

The incident is still under investigation, according to Montiel.
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