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Drowning Victim That Jumped Into New Melones From Bridge Identified

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Tuolumne County, CA – The name of the 35-year-old man who jumped into Melones Lake off the Camp 9 Bridge and drowned in July has been released.

The deceased is Matthew Giannini of Modesto. He made that jump around 8 p.m. on July 1st, and a 911 call reported a man who was seen jumping into the lake from the bridge but had not resurfaced, as earlier reported here. The incident was initially handled by the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office until it was determined the jump had taken place on the Tuolumne County side of the bridge, giving it jurisdiction.

The two sheriff’s departments worked together to search the lake in the area where Giannini was last seen entering the water. Both of their boating units utilized specialized equipment, including remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and divers.

“Searching the area was complicated by fast undercurrent flows and debris in the area,” noted Ashley Boujikian, Tuolumne County Sheriff’s spokesperson.

Then, on July 23rd, a caller reported discovering a body in the area. Boating deputies responded to the area and were able to confirm that it was Giannini. However, the investigation continued with follow-up interviews with several witnesses who were present when he jumped from the bridge. Boujikian added, “Witness statements confirmed Giannini had willfully jumped from the bridge with no intent to harm himself.”