On Saturday evening, just before 7 pm, Redding Police were sent to a motel at the 500 block of Market Street in north Redding, near the Turtle Bay Exploration Park on the Sacramento River. The call on that rainy day was for a domestic violence incident.
According to a Redding Police press report, when officers arrived, the man they were looking for saw them first, and took off running. He headed south along Market, running for half a mile, as the police chased him. After passing Turtle Bay, he reached the Market Street Bridge, which crosses the river between the Sacramento River Diversion Dam and the famous Sundial Bridge, which is just past the Turtle Bay Exploration Center’s botanical gardens.
Officers saw the man, later identified as 48-year-old Darryl Brice Cunningham, jump into the fast moving river, swelled by recent rain and storm activity that same day. They saw him struggle to swim in the fast moving current, and he went under as they watched. They never saw him resurface.
Search and rescue teams were called to the area. A California Highway Patrol helicopter came to survey the river and river banks. The Shasta County Sheriff’s boating deputies checked the water, and the state Department of Forestry Law Enforcement officers assisted as well. However, night came on, and with the addition of rainy weather, the search was called off for the night.
The same agencies resumed their search on Sunday morning, but announced at 2 pm that day that he had not been located. As of Wednesday evening, the Redding Police confirmed that he had still not been found. There is still no evidence as to whether he survived the ordeal, or drowned in the cold river waters. He was described as a black man wearing a blue and white shirt, blue jeans and athletic shoes. Anyone who may have contact with him, or knows of his whereabouts is encouraged to call the Redding Police at 530-225-4200. Citizens should be warned that if he survived, he is wanted on an outstanding warrant, and now has a domestic violence warrant issued as well.
Redding Record Searchlight: Officials call off search for suspect who jumped into the Sacramento River
Update: 4-15-2014: The Redding Police have announced the discovery of a body in the Sacramento River west of the Sundial bridge, near were Cunningham was last seen trying to escape police. The coroner has yet to make an official identification, but it has been speculated that the adult male found is very likely to be Darryl Brice Cunningham.