Deputies look for clues in death of 20-year-old found floating in canal

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COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Many questions remain five days after the body of a man was found floating in a Golden Gate Estates canal.

Deputies identified the victim as 20-year-old Zion Lopez of East Naples.

Michael Blackwell and his neighbor found Lopez’s body in the canal off of Blue Sage Drive.

“I saw a body floating face down about 15 to 20 feet from edge of the bank,” said Blackwell. “When something like that happens, it’s like, where did that come from? How did it get there? Are we in harms way?”

It took deputies several days to identify Lopez.

“I’m sad to hear that, I’m sad to hear anybody but certainly he just turned 20, that’s too bad.”

Blackwell tells WINK News he didn’t see anything suspicious in the area that day, but something definitely sticks out in his mind.

“There were two gentleman on a boat ramp standing over there talking and that’s not uncommon. People put boats in there all the time and kids come down there and fish. That’s the only thing I saw and didn’t think anything about that you know and shortly after that is when they found the body.”

The 20-year old’s grandfather tells WINK News he was staying with them in East Naples and that Lopez left with his only two friends the day before. That was the last time he talked to his grandson.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is still waiting on Lopez’s autopsy report to determine his cause of death.

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