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Ariza was last seen in Chester, Pennsylvania on October 30, 2009. He and a new friend launched Ariza's new boat into the Delaware River under the Commodore Barry Bridge at approximately 2:00 a.m. About five minutes later, the engine stalled and the boat capsized. Ariza's friend jumped off to swim to shore, and Ariza stayed with the boat. He wasn't wearing a life jacket.
Several hours later, Ariza's boat was found submerged about seven miles downriver at Delaware Fox Point State Park in Wilmington, Delaware. There was no sign of Ariza and an extensive search turned up no sign of him. He is presumed to have drowned.