Monterey Sheriff’s Office calls 9-year-old Hollister boy’s drowning an accident

The boy, for whom a GoFundMe account has been set up to offset funeral expenses, was swimming at the Arroyo Seco Campground

Nine-year-old Rigoberto Guzman Gonzalez, from Hollister, drowned Sunday afternoon while swimming at the Arroyo Seco Campground, near Greenfield, according to Sgt. Michael Darlington, watch commander for South Monterey County.

“He and his family went up there for the day and he went into the water with his cousin,” Darlington told BenitoLink. “A couple minutes later, his parents couldn’t find him and went to the camp staff and they started searching for him. Once they located him, CPR began. Several fire agencies responded and they transported him to the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital. I believe they pronounced him dead at the hospital.”

Darlington said there was no sign of foul play and the preliminary investigation determined it was an accidental drowning. Once Gonzalez was being transported by ambulance, Darlington said the Monterey County Coroner was summoned to the hospital, but as of Aug. 2 no autopsy had been conducted.

According to a statement on a Go Fund Me page, which is attempting to raise $10,000 to pay for the boy’s funeral, his father posted in English and Spanish: On July 31, my 9 year old son Rigoberto Guzman Gonzalez passed away in a drowning accident at Arroyo Seco. Rigo was born and raised here in Hollister with me and his mother, younger brother and sister. We are at a loss and hearbroken. As we mourn our son we ask you and your family to help us financially as we need your help! No donation is too small, we would greatly appreciate it. God bless you. 

En Julio 31, 2016 nuestro hijo de 9 años Rigoberto Guzmán González falleció ahogado en Arroyo Seco. Rigo nació y creció aquí en Hollister conmigo, su mamá un hermano menor y su hermana. Estamos desbastados y con el corazón roto. Mientras sentimos la perdida de nuestro hijo les pedimos su ayuda financiera. Cualquier ayuda será apreciada. Gracias y que Dios los bendiga.

The county coroner did not respond to BenitoLink’s call before publication.

John Chadwell

John Chadwell is a freelance photojournalist with additional experience as a copywriter, ghostwriter, scriptwriter, and novelist. He is a former U.S. Navy Combat Photojournalist and is an award-winning writer, having worked for magazine, newspapers, radio and television. He has a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Chapman University and graduate studies at USC Cinema School. John worked as a scriptwriting consultant, and his own script, "God's Club," was produced and released in 2016. He has also written eight novels, ranging from science fiction to true crime, which are sold on Amazon. To contact John Chadwell, send an email to: [email protected]