FRESNO (CBS/AP) — Authorities say a man whose body was found in a Fresno County irrigation canal may have been attacked by dogs before he drowned.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office says coroner officials found dog bites on 74-year-old Robert Simonian’s arms and legs.

Robert Simonian

(Source: KGPE-TV CBS 47 Fresno)

“The cause of death for Mr. Simonian has been determined as drowning. However, he did have marks on his body that are consistent with an animal attack,” Sheriff Margaret Mims told CBS 47 News.

Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti says it’s possible that a dog or a group of dogs attacked Simonian as he walked along a canal bank, causing him to fall into the water.

He says detectives are asking for anyone who has seen a dog or group of dogs while walking or driving in the area of Barstow Avenue between Biola and Dickenson Avenues to call them.

Botti says that in April a man was killed in an animal attack in the same area. Detectives found a group of aggressive dogs but couldn’t link them to the death and they were returned to their owner.

RELATED ARTICLE: Detectives Believe Dogs Attacked Man Found in Canal (CBS 47, Fresno)

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