Man found dead in drainage ditch identified

The man found dead in a Medford irrigation ditch on Sunday had reportedly been making suicidal comments to an acquaintance before he went missing two days before, police said today.

Paul Norman Munday, a 54-year-old transient, was found in an irrigation ditch about 8:30 p.m. Monday near the intersection of Lynn Street and Gore Avenue, located behind the Sierra Pine mill.

Several hours earlier, Munday's acquaintance had reported being concerned for Munday's welfare, noting that he hadn't been seen since Saturday and had made suicidal statements.

Police knew Munday as he was a registered sex offender who had come into contact with police in the past. Officers knew he was homeless and started searching the area where he camped near the Sierra Pine mill.

A witness recounted seeing a man matching Munday's description put down his walking cane before wading into the irrigation ditch.

Police found the cane and retrieved Munday's body a short distance downstream. Heavy rains had caused the waters in the ditch to flow swiftly. Munday was removed and taken to a funeral home.

The case remains under investigation, and the cause of death has not yet been established. An autopsy has not yet been scheduled, police said.

— Ryan Pfeil

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