Salinas’ remains being returned to Mexico

The body of missing Forks man Benjamin Roldan Salinas, 43, was recovered from the Sol Duc River at about 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 5 near milepost 208 along Highway 101, according to a Clallam County Sheriff’s Department report.

On Wednesday, June 8 the Forks Human Rights Group announced that funds were being raised to ship Salinas' remains to his homeland of Mexico. In addition, religious service for the Forks man are to be held in Olympia. No date has been set for the service.

Anyone wishing to assist with funeral and transportation costs for Salinas, which the group is estimating will range from $10,000 to $15,000, may make a donation at the Bank of America to account #43417088. The account has been established for the Salinas family in the name of Rafael Salazar.

The Sheriff’s Department was notified at 8:29 a.m. on Sunday, June 5 that the body had been spotted.

An initial search on Sunday morning by deputies failed to find the body. The Clallam County volunteer Search and Rescue, Swiftwater Rescue Team, was activated and went to the location where the body was sighted. The team was made up of 13 volunteer Search and Rescue members including officer’s from the Elwha Police Department, a Snohomish County Fire District #19 volunteer and Sheriff’s Department Deputies.

“They searched the area on foot as well as in kayaks for approximately two hours before a family friend located the subject entangled under a rood wad strainer,” the report states.

The Swiftwater rescue team recovered the Salinas’ body from the Sol Duc River, and family members soon after made a positive identification of the remains.

The case has been turned over to the Clallam County Coroner’s Office. Foul play is not expected to be found as the cause of death.

Volunteer search teams made up mostly of members of the West End Hispanic community have continued daily searches for Salinas. He disappeared in the area on Saturday afternoon, May 14 after fleeing from a highway stop about four miles upstream from where his body was found in the Sol Duc River.

On May 16, the U.S. Border Patrol in a press release provided details of Salinas’ run. The report said a U.S. Forest Service enforcement officer had stopped the SUV Salinas was driving and made a call to the Border Patrol for help with translating between Spanish and English. Once on the scene the Border Patrol arrested a passenger in Salinas’ vehicle on immigration charges. Salinas ran and reportedly dove into the swift-moving Sol Duc River. Heavier than usual spring rains have subsided in the three weeks following his disappearance.
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