Deaths of Two Individuals in Santee

In the aftermath of a powerful storm that hit San Diego on January 22, 2024, local authorities are investigating whether three deaths were directly linked to the extreme weather event. The storm, which brought torrential downpours and widespread devastation, especially affecting underserved communities, has left the region in mourning. The San Diego County Medical Examiner's office is conducting inquiries into the deaths of two individuals in Santee and a third man involved in a car crash in Lemon Grove to determine if they were storm-related fatalities. Details regarding the deaths of two people in Santee are still limited. A 48-year-old man, identified as Manuel Andres Perez, and an unidentified woman were the victims. The woman was discovered in a brush near Forester Creek in the aftermath of the storm. Despite paramedics' efforts, she was pronounced dead at the scene. In an effort to identify the woman, authorities have released a sketch along with a photograph of a distinctive tattoo on her right leg – a dolphin with wings and hearts – and described the jewelry she was wearing, including a bracelet inscribed with "Mama B" and the date "4/21/2006." The woman is believed to be between 45 and 55 years old, with brown eyes and hair, approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall, and weighing 229 pounds. At the time of her death, she had no clothing or identification on her. In another incident, a 67-year-old man named Harold James Hooker was driving a minivan southbound on Lemon Grove Avenue when he crashed into concrete debris in the roadway. His vehicle then collided with a pole and rolled down an embankment. Despite rescue efforts, Hooker was pronounced dead at the scene. The Medical Examiner's office is treating this case as a potential storm-related death, though the exact cause remains under investigation. The January 22 storm was extraordinarily severe, depositing as much rain in just six hours as typically falls over a quarter of a year in San Diego, according to NBC 7 Meteorologists. It was described by city leaders as a "thousand-year storm," a term reserved for exceptionally rare flooding events. The storm's impact prompted states of emergency in Coronado, San Diego, San Diego County, and eventually the state of California, mobilizing resources for recovery efforts. The flooding caused extensive damage to hundreds of homes, particularly in areas surrounding Chollas Creek in San Diego, San Ysidro, National City, and Lemon Grove.  
Location: Santee, San Diego County, California, USA
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