Death of L.A. man found in Tulare County lake is ruled a drowning

Mario Sandoval, 43, of Los Angeles was reported missing Saturday evening at Lake Success near Porterville.
(Sandoval family)

Officials have ruled that a man whose body was discovered in a Tulare County lake Sunday morning died by drowning.

Mario Sandoval, 43, of Los Angeles was reported missing at 5:41 p.m. Saturday at Lake Success near Porterville. The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that deputies responded to the scene and deployed search teams on foot and by air. Sandoval’s body was found Sunday morning in the lake.

After an autopsy was performed, officials on Tuesday ruled the death a freshwater drowning with no foul play suspected.

Michael Sandoval said his brother Mario was an honest, loving person who hadn’t missed a day of work in more than 20 years because he wanted to give his family a good life.


“He was the life of my family — the heart, the laughter, the smile,” Sandoval said in an email. “He’s leaving three children that absolutely loved him. He taught them how to love, how to smile and how to be good people.”

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