Los Angeles County Sheriff’s homicide detectives identify boating death victim at Pyramid Lake—Search to continue for second victim

UPDATE – GORMAN, CA (Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 5:55 p.m.)—Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Emergency Services Detail (ESD) divers have suspended their efforts for the day, in searching Lake Pyramid for any additional victims.

The search began when LASD Parks Bureau deputies found 52 year-old Rich Tanovan on Sunday, June 29th, submerged under water approximately fifteen feet from the shore. Tanovan, a resident of West Covina, was caught amongst the foliage and apparently drowned. However, the exact cause of death has yet to be determined.

There are indicators that Tanovan was accompanied on the boat by a friend, Jack Thirasack, a 64 year-old resident of Baldwin Park, as family members confirmed with investigators that they went to the lake together. Thirasack’s fishing license was found in the water on Sunday, near the partially submerged boat that was about 30 yards from the shore.

LASD Emergency Services Detail divers have searched the underwater area near the site for the past three days, using several divers, sonar equipment and an underwater cadaver dog. The dog was also used to search Chumash Island, which is in the lake near the area where the boat was found.

Tomorrow, LASD Emergency Services Detail personnel will resume their search.


GORMAN, CA (Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 6:31 p.m.)—Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Homicide Bureau detectives responded to 43100 Pyramid Lake Road, Gorman, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a male adult.

At approximately 11:20 a.m. today, an LASD Parks Bureau deputy, assigned to patrol Pyramid Lake, was flagged down by a man on a jet ski who said he had seen something suspicious in the south part of Pyramid Lake, near Chumash Island.

Additional LASD Parks Bureau deputies responded to investigate and found the bow of a boat sticking up out of the water. A short distance away, deputies found a male adult beneath the water. Deputies pulled him from the water and immediately administered CPR. However, the deputies were unable to revive him and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The male adult appears to have drowned but the cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

Deputies also received information that the victim may have been accompanied by a second male. As a result, LASD Emergency Services Detail continues an underwater search and, with the assistance of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the use of watercraft has also been implemented.

There are no signs of damage to the boat that was found, and no obvious signs of physical trauma to the male adult who was pulled from the water. Also, there is no preliminary sign of foul play, however the investigation continues.

There is no additional information at this time.

**Whenever the death or disappearance of a person occurs as a result of a boating accident and/or incident on the waters within Los Angeles County, LASD Homicide Bureau responds and investigates.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

This is part of the June 27, 2014 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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