The Windsor Middle School community is in mourning over the death of 13-year-old Diego Rivas, who disappeared on Wednesday night, May 27, while swimming in the Russian River. Rivas was last seen swimming in the river at 10:30 p.m. in the area of Canyon 1 Road in Rio Nido.

The Sheriff’s Department sent out a Nixle alert for a missing child at 12:17 a.m. on May 28. Over the next day, a massive search and rescue effort ensued, with searchers combing the area and the river near where Rivas’ clothes and phone were found. The Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue dive team found Rivas’ body on Thursday, May 28, in the afternoon.


Diego Rivas

“Sadly, we found Diego's body submerged in the river this afternoon. There does not appear to be any foul play,” said the Sheriff’s Department in a statement on social media. “We send our sincerest condolences to Diego's family. This is never the outcome we hope for when searching for a missing child. We want to thank the volunteers on our Search and Rescue and Dive teams for their efforts. We'd also like to thank Rio Nido Roadhouse for supporting our staff and volunteers today.”

Rivas’ passing was announced and recognized with a moment of silence at the beginning of the Windsor Unified School District’s board budget workshop on the evening of May 28.

“It is with great sadness we recognize the death of one of our students at Windsor Middle School,” said Superintendent Brandon Krueger. “Diego Rivas passed recently and we wanted to make sure we had a moment of silence, to recognize this student, and to give our sincere wishes of comfort to his family at this time.”

Teachers and community member remember Rivas as a “bright and happy boy” with an excellent sense of humor on social media.  

A letter sent to families from WMS principal Brian Williams stated that the school’s Emergency Management Plan had been implemented to help students and their families. He also offered resources to any family whose child is struggling.

Donations to Rivas’ family may be made to the Just send a note tojen@russianriveralliance.organd tell her that you’d like your donation to be given to his family.

Additional reporting by Laura Hagar Rush.

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