Society

Rapper's Body Found In Kern River

| by Michael Doherty
The Kern River.The Kern River.

A body that was found in California's Kern River on July 1 was identified as a man who had been missing for more than a week.

Michael Ramirez, a 27-year-old rapper from Orange County, who went by the name Dossicc in his music career, went missing on June 22, according to the Los Angeles Times.The Times notes that Ramirez, "was a member of the underground hip-hop group Rebellion Warfare. The group has performed with Immortal Technique, Raekwon, Aesop Rock and Method Man."

Ramirez's body was found by 20-year-old Jeison Aviles, who had been fishing by the Keyesville south campground at Lake Isabella, said Aviles' mother, Yanira Zelaya.

"He is in shock," Zelaya said.

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Ramirez is the eighth person to die at the Kern River since March, and two people are still missing in Kern County. Authorities have issued a warning to stay out of the river, which has come to be known as "Killer Kern," because of its fast current and low temperature.

Ramirez's girlfriend, Erica Zambada, had hoped her boyfriend would be found alive. She said Ramirez was pulled into the water by the strong currents during a day of camping.

"It was really hot, about 115 degrees, and we went back down to the water so he could cool off," said Zambada. "He grabbed a rock and threw it in and said, 'Look babe, it’s calm here.'"

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Zambada said she had told Ramirez to stay out of the water, but he jumped into the river two times before tragedy struck.

"Then on the third try, I could see he was having trouble swimming back," she said, and added that she called for help from a friend, who grabbed a rope.

"I tried to throw him the rope, but I couldn't get it far enough," said Christ Caballero. "Then I tied one side to my arm, gave the other side to the ladies and dove in for him."

"I got about a foot away from him, but there were pockets in the river that act like suction tubes," Caballero added. "I saw him literally sucked into the water. Then two seconds later, I got sucked in as well. I was fighting it, and the ladies pulled me back up with the rope."

"It was terrifying," Zambada said, recalling the moment her boyfriend came up above the water's surface before he was swept away. "I will never forget the look on his face. He was so terrified too. As much as he struggled, he never took his eyes off me."

After Ramirez's body was found, Zambada said she hopes to keep his memory alive through his music. "The way that he expresses himself, the way that he paints a picture for you, it is a gift you’re born with," she said, according to the Bakersfield Californian.

"I want everyone to know he was a beautiful person," she said. "He put everyone else first. I'm devastated. I feel like my whole life has been shattered."

​Sources: Los Angeles Times, The Bakersfield Californian, New York Daily News / Photo credit: David Brossard/Flickr, Erica Zambada via New York Daily News, Erica Zambada via Los Angeles Times

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