A man who allegedly fled sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday was found dead by family members today in an area of Sonoma County extensively searched by the sheriff’s office on both Tuesday and Thursday, sheriff’s officials said. Deputies first encountered the man, identified as James Flavio Gomez, 21, of Davis, when they stopped his car for a vehicle code violation. Gomez allegedly showed signs of being under the influence of a controlled substance and became uncooperative during the stop, according to the sheriff’s office. Sheriff’s officials said he refused to exit his car and when deputies opened the door to get him out, he sped away and ran over one of the deputies’ foot. After a short pursuit deputies found the car crashed at the corner of Lytton Station Road and Healdsburg Avenue just north of Healdsburg.
A passenger in the car got out and was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest and being under the influence of a controlled substance. She was identified by the sheriff’s office as Kelsey Michaela Stauffer, 23, of Davis. Gomez had run from the crash scene and deputies extensively searched the area using K-9s and a helicopter and tracked Gomez to a rural property in the 18000 block of Geyserville Road about 300 yards from the crash site. The property is heavily wooded with two half-acre ponds and thick brush, according to the sheriff’s office. After four hours deputies could not locate Gomez and called off the search. Gomez’s father contacted the sheriff’s office on Thursday to report that his son had gone missing. Deputies once again searched the area using a helicopter but did not locate him. This morning, Gomez’s family members called 911 to report that his body was found in one of the ponds in the area where deputies had been searching. His cause of death has not been disclosed. The Santa Rosa Police Department will be investigating the case according to the sheriff’s office Critical Incident Protocol.
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