Body is found floating in lake at Fountain Valley’s Mile Square park

Officials at North Lake at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley where a body was found.
Orange County Sheriff’s Department and O.C. Parks personnel survey the site Friday where a body was found floating in North Lake at Fountain Valley’s Mile Square Regional Park.
(Scott Smeltzer / Times Community News)

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department cordoned off a section of Fountain Valley’s Mile Square Regional Park on Friday after parkgoers discovered a body floating facedown in a lake on the north end of the property.

Sgt. Todd Hylton confirmed an O.C. Parks ranger received a call about 10:45 a.m. from visitors who were boating on the park’s North Lake when they saw something in the water.

“From what I understand the [reporting parties] were in a swan boat,” Hylton said Friday afternoon from the scene, where members of the department’s Homicide Detail had taped off the shoreline and closed the area to visitors.

Swan boats in the lake
Swan boats on North Lake at Fountain Valley’s Mile Square Regional Park on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Times Community News)

Hours after the discovery, units were still awaiting the arrival of the Orange County coroner, so details about the body were scarce.

Based on its size, the body is believed to be that of an adult, Hylton said, but deputies on scene had not confirmed its gender. The portion of the body visible above the surface of the water appears to be clothed, he added.

“At this point, it’s too premature to determine any cause of death,” he said.

The incident is being investigated as a potential homicide until the coroner’s office can rule out foul play and determine a cause of death.

“We have a pretty extensive crime scene around the lake,” Hylton said. “We’re going to look at the entire shoreline of the lake as we investigate. At this point, we’re asking people to avoid North Lake until we have completed here.”

The sergeant indicated officials would notify the public via social media when the investigation had concluded and the lake was reopened.

Meanwhile, other areas within the 600-acre, county-owned park remained open to visitors Friday afternoon. Given the relative popularity and extensive use of the park, Hylton said, it is uncommon for a death to occur in such a public space.


“This is a safe area, so to have something occur like this is very out of the ordinary,” he said.

Friday’s incident was the second time a body was discovered in Fountain Valley this week. A deceased 26-year-old woman from Long Beach, who had apparently been involved in a traffic collision Monday evening at Slater Avenue and Tradewinds Street, was found to have sustained a gunshot wound.

Cardine writes for Times Community News.