Sheriff: Woman found dead in submerged car in Sonoma Co. floodwaters after 911 call disconnects

BySuzanne Phan KGO logo
Thursday, January 12, 2023
Sheriff: Woman found dead in submerged car in Sonoma Co. floodwaters
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Officials say a woman was found dead in a submerged car in Sonoma County after crews had been searching for her since Tuesday morning.

FORESTVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- A 43-year-old woman was found dead in a submerged car in Sonoma County after crews had been searching for her since Tuesday morning, according to officials.

The woman was found Wednesday morning in Forestville, where her car was 8-10 feet underwater, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office says.

The victim has been identified as Daphne Fontino, of Ukiah, California in Mendocino County.

RELATED: Authorities identify 5-year-old swept away by floodwaters during California storm as search resumes

The sheriff's office says that Fontino first called 911 after 10 a.m. on Tuesday, saying that her car was stuck in floodwaters in the 6000 block of Trenton-Healdsburg Road and that water was in the car.

The call was then disconnected.

The Marine Unit, several helicopters, deputies, and rescue teams all responded to the scene and searched for the car and driver until sunset, but were unsuccessful.

Rescue crews in search for victim found dead in a submerged car in Sonoma County floodwaters.
Rescue crews in search for victim found dead in a submerged car in Sonoma County floodwaters.
Sonoma County Sheriff's Office

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Crews then began their search again on Wednesday morning and found the car submerged about 100 yards off the road.

A Marine Unit deputy dove down and determined there was a body in the car, which deputies and fire personnel then removed.

Fourteen other people have died in California as a result of the severe storms and flooding.

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"The sheriff's office sends our condolences to victim's family and friends during this challenging time," the office said in a press release posted on Facebook.

The sheriff's office also thanked Sonoma County Fire and CHP for helping in the search.

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