NEEDLES — A body found July 2 along the California shoreline of the Colorado River, south of Blankenship Bend, has been confirmed as that of Raegan Heitzig, who was presumed dead after a head-on boat collision nearly two years ago.
A forensic odontologist was able to identify Heitzig, 26, of Ventura, California, by using her dental records, according to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department.
The accident that occurred on Labor Day of 2018 in the river in Topock Marsh left three other people dead and nine people injured.
All 16 people on the two boats were thrown into the water and both boats sank. No one had been wearing a life jacket.
The other people who died in the crash were Brian Grabowski, 50, of Tulare, California; Kirra Drury, 24, of Ventura, California; and Christine Lewis, 51, of Visalia, California. Their remains were found within days of the crash.
Personnel from several agencies searched the river and riverbanks from the crash site to Lake Havasu in an effort to find Heitzig long after the crash occurred.
Heitzig had earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University Channel Islands. A family member noted online that Heitzig had wanted to become a high school English teacher.
Family and friends held a celebration of life for the young woman last September.