Sheriff´s officials have identified the body found Monday morning in the Modesto Irrigation District canal near Waterford. The body is that of fifty-eight-year-old Rita Brush of Hickman.
Brush was reported missing at 2:00 a.m. Monday morning by her family after failing to return from a local fast food restaurant. Her body was discovered in the canal at 7:23 a.m. Monday morning by a local farm worker.
An autopsy performed Tuesday morning confirmed that Brush was the victim of a homicide. Officials are not releasing the manner of death at this time. Coroners officials were unable to get a fingerprint match so detectives had to delay in releasing her name until a dental comparison could be completed to positively identify the body.
Detectives have a Waterford man in custody in connection with the case. Jay Gibson 34, was booked into Stanislaus County Jail on charges of auto theft and arson on the burned out gray Lincoln that is registered to Brush. The car was found at 9:59 a.m. Monday morning just a few miles from where detectives were recovering Brush´s body.
Sheriff´s officials are looking into whether Gibson had anything to do with the homicide. Nobody has been charged yet for her murder.
Anyone with information regarding the homicide or theft of the vehicle should call Sheriff´s Detective Priscilla Woods at (209)525-7086.