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EUGENE, Ore. - Police have identified the man found in the Amazon Canal on Thursday, April 5, as 31-year-old Dustin Craig Nissen.
Police initially regarded the death to be under suspicious circumstances, but after further investigation, they said it appears to be accidental.
Police said they learned Nissen had been involved in a vehicle pursuit with an outside agency on March 24. Neither the reason for the pursuit or the agency is being released at this time. They said Nissen left his car as it was still moving near City View by the Amazon Slough in order to continue the chase on foot.
They said officers with the outside agency were unable to locate Nissen that day, but police were able to identify the car as his.
This information leads police to believe Nissen's being in the water was due to choice and not anything suspicious.
"It appears to be a product of some decision making, and was accidental due to the decisions made by that individual," said Detective Jed McGuire with the Eugene Police Violent Crimes Unit.
Nissen was reported missing by his family in Eugene on March 26, but March 24 was the last day he was seen alive.
Police want to reassure people that this death is not connected to another death in the Amazon Slough earlier in March. The body of 72-year-old Kresmir Tonkovich was found in the Slough on March 12. His death was determined to be due to natural causes.
"They are completely unrelated, that was a medical issue, and in this case, this appears to be an accident," Detective McGuire said.
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