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Auburn man, 88, found floating face down in pond

Body identified as Ernest Gonzalez
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - Emergency personnel were unable to resuscitate an Auburn man found floating Friday in a pond in North Auburn. The Placer County Sheriff’s Office identified the apparent drowning victim as 88-year-old Ernest Gonzalez of Auburn. The pond, located at Princeton Drive and Rutgers Drive in the Princeton Club Estates subdivision off New Airport Road, is in a landscaped park with signs stating it is for residents and guests only. The pond, taking up about a quarter of an acre, is about four feet deep where Gonzalez was first spotted by a passerby floating facedown near the middle, Deputy Kevin Jackson said. A Sheriff’s Office dispatcher received the initial call at 3:45 p.m. Paramedics attempted to revive Gonzalez after he was removed from the water and placed on a small pier but he was pronounced dead at the scene about a half-hour later. The Sheriff’s Office and coroner had yet to determine the cause of death, with initial reports indicating Gonzalez had been in the water for 15 minutes. Gonzalez was alone when he arrived at the park, Jackson said. He was “mobility impaired” and required a walker, he said. The park has walkways and a grassy slope leads down to the water near where efforts to revive Gonzalez took place. Jackson said Gonzalez was a Princeton Club Estates resident who lived near the park. Several people comforted each other on a picnic bench near the pond but declined comment.