Sam Whitney was found deceased February 11th under the Ryan Slough Bridge. Whitney was dressed adequately for the weather. A thick sleeping bag was found nearby.
During the autopsy on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, Whitney’s cause of death was determined to be heart failure. Whitney appeared to have died three to ten days prior to being found. Drowning and trauma were ruled out as causing or contributing to Whitney’s death.
On Saturday, February 11, 2017, at about 4:44 pm, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to the area of the Ryan Slough Bridge, Eureka for a report of a body lying in a stream. The body was located by Deputies underneath the Ryan Slough Bridge on the northwest side. The body was later identified as Sam Whitney, age 63 of Eureka. Whitney was known to Law Enforcement to be a transient who lived underneath the bridge. Foul play is not suspected and an autopsy will be scheduled to determine the cause of death.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.