ST. GEORGE (ABC4 News) – Authorities said a St. George man sought in an alleged sex crime has died after his car veered off the road, plunging into the Virgin River.
Near Interstate 15 southbound in the Virgin River Gorge, Guadalupe Guillermo Nunez, 36, intentionally drove off a cliff while involved in a pursuit with police, according to Arizona Department of Public Safety Sgt. John Bottoms.
Bottoms said a woman walked in on him and a 16-year-old girl engaging in a sexual act, and the woman called local police Friday morning.
Nunez left before officers arrived, and his car was spotted on Interstate 15 South, reaching speeds of more than 100 miles per hour when it drove off a cliff, according to authorities.
“That vehicle going off from where it went off on top all the way to the river, I’d never seen a vehicle go that far,” said Sgt. Darrell Cashin, Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue liaison.
Washington County Search and Rescue teams found Nunez’s car 7 miles south of the Utah state line, but his body wasn’t inside.
“That vehicle was pretty much destroyed by the time it hit the river,” Cashin said. “I highly suspect that he was ejected.”
Authorities believe Nunez intentionally crashed, after speaking with a family member who said he spoke of ending his life.
Nunez’s family members were out searching for him along the river, where they located his body on a sandbar. Washington County SAR recovered his body Sunday afternoon about five miles from his vehicle.