Klamath River Drowning Victim Identified

Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

Humboldt County Sheriff badgeOn Friday, 06/30/2017, at about 4:40 pm, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Klamath River at Young’s Bar near Highway 169 regarding the report of a drowning victim. On arrival, HCSO deputies discovered a deceased individual lying near the river. A fisherman discovered the decedent and transported the body to the river’s edge.

The decedent has been identified by fingerprints as 45 year old, Arizona resident, Joshua Aldon Hammond.

An autopsy was completed today and there were no signs of foul play. The preliminary finding is a probable drowning. Biological material has been sent to the lab to obtain a toxicology report. The investigation is still ongoing pending the results of the toxicology analysis.

Next of kin has been notified.



  • in prior posts, there has been speculation this drowned person may have been somehow involved with a stolen vehicle that wrecked into the river. Is that something the police are thinking about? is that true or false or unknown?

  • Speaking as a close friend of the family who was with his kids when they were notified, what we know is that Joshua has been living in and employed in California since April, 2017 and only technically still an Arizona resident. While we do not yet know if the vehicle in the Trinity River is in any way connected to the tragic accident, what we believe – with certainty – is that Joshua was operating a vehicle with the owner’s permission, shuttling it to a destination in Northern California, and had not engaged in nor was he engaging in any criminal activity at the time of his death.

  • R.I.P. Mr. Hammond.

  • I am Joshua’s sister and I am trying to get an idea of Young’s Bar. If anyone that is familiar with the area has any insight it would be appreciated. Being from AZ I really know nothing about rivers. when i read that this is the second body this month i assume Youngs bar is a place where the river calms? is it the size of a football field or a mile long or is youngs bar a town near the river? also about the accident on the trinity river with the Santa Fe anybody know anything about that? is this a conceivable place a body from that could end up? His dog is also missing and presumed dead I suppose but maybe somebody saw or knows something. his dog was a huge black with white pit bull/ boxer mix I mean huge very tall. like almost great Dane tall. we do not even know where he was headed or if he made it to his destination before he ended up here if anyone can think of anything or just can tell me about this Youngs bar place my email is aiyihammond0@gmail.com thank you everyone sorry for the long comment

    • Aiyana, if you have a photo of the dog, I could run a story looking for it. Kym Kemp (the editor) my email is mskymkemp@gmail.com

    • Thank you Kym for being a bright light in such a shady place.
      Sad to hear this story and hopefully this family will have some closure once they get answers,..

    • Young’s Bar is about 1\2 miles long and yes it is a calming area of the river! Also about 150-200 feet wide in parts! There are many people who set Gill Nets for fishing there also. Frequented by many locals, and guests of the area as well. I am sorry for your loss, prayers to you and your family…

  • Joshua’s family, please know that folks will be on the look out for his dog. What is the dog’s name? If you can send Kym a photo of the dog that would help folks identify him. Thank you to the posts regarding your loved one. May your family continue to be surrounded by caring and supportive folks as you grieve your terrible loss of Joshua. May your questions be answered and your needs met. Condolences on your loss.

    Locally here a bar on the river is usually named after a person. Youngs Bar is just below where the Trinity river merges into the Klamath river and is within the
    Yurok reservation.

  • to everyone who took the time to email me or leave comments thank you all so much. You have no idea how much all your kind words and information helped me. Kym, you are amazing thank you for contacting me so quickly about doing a story. These communities are very lucky to have you. Joshua’s dog, Owen has been located, alive. We still have questions about what happened to Josh but are getting some answers. We now know he had no connection to the stolen vehicle in the Trinity. We are heartbroken for our Joshie and his 4 children and all the families who have lost their loved ones to the river. thank you

  • Wow what a tragedy he was a good friend Rip josh

  • I knew Josh the past 11 or 12 years in Oracle, Arizona. We were pretty good friends. It was hard not to love him–wild, crazy, astonishingly brilliant and imaginative as he was. Josh was always so full of life, I still find this all very hard to believe. Josh went away from us and…just didn’t come back. Damn, but that hurts. However, I know that Josh would not want us sitting around grieving his death. Rather, he would like a big party! So lift a glass to Josh and have at least a little party in his honor…he’ll be watching!

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