Irvine: Missing Adult Found Dead In Flood Channel

03.22.2023 | 11:46 AM | IRVINE – The search for a critical missing adult came to an end when authorities recovered the missing person’s body from flood control channel, Wednesday morning.

The missing man, 20-year-old Christian Nathang Cruz, of Irvine, went missing after his mother dropped him off at L.A. Fitness, located at 3960 Barranca Parkway, Tuesday evening.

Cruz’ mother was unable to locate him several hours later despite tracking his phone to the gym and contacted police.

Police recovered surveillance footage of Cruz and determined he left his phone inside a locker and departed the gym on foot around 8:00 PM.

Cruz, who is described as being developmentally disabled, was reportedly last observed walking into the San Diego Creek Trail around 8:20 PM.

Officers followed the trail and ultimately located Cruz’ body at around 11:46 AM near the 3500 block of Michelson Drive, about three miles from where he was last seen alive.

A swift water rescue was dispatched, prompting numerous first responders to arrive in the area to assist in recovering the body.

Foul play was not believed to be involved although police established a “crime scene” for reasons that remain unclear.

Anyone with information regarding the incident was asked to contact Detective Mudassar Mahmood at
(949) 724-7244 or

Anonymous tips can be submitted through the Orange County Crime Stoppers by calling (855) TIP-OCCS or by visiting their website at

Junior Martinez

Junior joined the County News Service team in 2021 covering a variety of breaking news stories from fires to crashes and protests. As a Southern California native Junior excels in locating and responding to breaking news events.