The body of 20-year-old National Guardsman Juan Muñoz was found in the Río Grande river last week, this according to NBC News. Muñoz went missing during training at the National Guard Armory in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, on February 20.
A kayaker discovered Muñoz’s body. It was recovered by the Taos County Sheriff’s Office. On Tuesday (May 11), officials identified the body as Muñoz. His cause of death is still pending until an autopsy can be completed.
“Our beloved Juan Muñoz has finally come home,” the Muñoz family wrote in a statement on social media. “Unfortunately, he is no longer with us. Please keep Juan and our family in your prayers. Funeral services are pending. Thank you to all of you who have helped us through these very difficult times.”
After Muñoz was reported missing by his sergeant on February 21, his vehicle was located at the Río Grande Gorge Bridge near Taos. His wallet, ID, debit card, cell phone and car keys were inside his car.
Muñoz was featured on Dateline’s Missing in America in April. At that time, his mother, Elizabeth Rivera, said security guards reported seeing Juan’s car in a parking lot near the bridge the night of his disappearance around 8 p.m. A second vehicle was also with Muñoz’s but sped off after a few minutes.
Muñoz’s mother described him as someone who was quiet and responsible and had made plans for his future. He had recently applied to join the Albuquerque Police Department.
Anyone with information on the ongoing investigation into Muñoz’s death should contact New Mexico State Police at (575) 758-8878.