RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. — Authorities say an auto theft suspect has drowned in a Northern California river while trying to flee from police officers.

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department says the chase began Saturday morning when Rancho Cordova police officers tried to pull over a reported stolen car and two men inside the vehicle refused to stop.

The driver led officers on a high-speed chase to an access way to the American River, where he ran into the riverside park. The passenger stayed in the car and was detained.

Authorities said the officers saw the suspect trying to swim across the river and appeared to struggle in the frigid water. The officers requested a rescue boat and lost sight of the man.

He was unconscious by the time rescuers pulled him from the water.

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