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Coroner completes autopsy of Omar Meza but awaits more tests

The body of missing 33-year-old Omar Meza was found floating in a pond near the 18th hole of the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort on Thursday afternoon.

Officers with the Palm Desert Police Department were called to the 74800 block of Country Club Drive after someone made the discovery around 2:15 p.m.

The Riverside County Coroner’s Office released the official identification Friday morning and began an autopsy.

News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 spoke to Sgt. James with the Riverside County Coroner’s Office on Tuesday morning. He said the autopsy has been completed, but at this time there’s still no official cause of death. He said they’re awaiting further tests, including the toxicology report, and that can take some time.

At this time, the coroner’s office hasn’t elaborated on how long Meza’s body was in the pond. We’ll let you know as soon as the test results come back.

Dive teams and search dogs with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department have been scouring ponds and searching the grounds at the J.W. Marriott for several days after the Los Angeles man was last seen at the hotel on January 8 at about 11 p.m.

Family members posted this message on Facebook: “We are with heavy hearts tonight as we announce the passing of Omar Meza. He was a very loved son, husband, brother & friend. We would like to take this time to grieve his passing and ask that everyone please respect our privacy at this time.”

Meza, a vice-president for AIG Financial Distributors, was in town for a work conference. His wife said he travels to the Coachella Valley every other month for work and knows the area well, but thought that he may have be suffering from long-term effects of a serious car crash in 2014.

His coworkers said they last saw him leaving an Indian Wells restaurant Thursday night. Meza told an Uber car service driver he wanted to go to the Marriott on Cook Street.

“We spoke on the phone he was going to be heading to his hotel room,” said his wife, Diane.

He was actually staying at a smaller Marriott Residence Inn on Cook Street, but he got dropped off at the wrong hotel.

Diane Meza said she spoke to her husband around 11:20 p.m. on Jan. 8, as he left that dinner with colleagues; he said he would call her when he returned to his room but that call never came.

Meza was reported missing around midday Friday after he failed to show up for scheduled meetings that morning. Police found Meza’s jacket folded neatly on J.W.’s golf course and his wallet.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department began searching the golf course and surrounding areas on Saturday.

News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 will deliver more details as authorities investigate the official cause of death.

KESQ News Team


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