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By Michael Holtzman
Herald News Staff Reporter
Posted Aug 09, 2008 @ 11:24 PM

Dartmouth -
A 28-year-old Westport man who apparently drove an all-terrain vehicle into a pond on Old Westport Road was found dead Saturday morning after his sister reported him missing.
Town police divers found Jason Cordeiro in about 10 feet of water at about 11:45 a.m. at the pond known as Dartmouth Water Wells. He was pronounced dead at the scene close to where the vehicle was found, reported Lt. Ken Cotta.
The location is about a mile west of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
In an accident that remains under investigation, nine witnesses who were friends of the victim told police he had taken the four-wheel vehicle for a ride Friday night and had not returned.
They later found the vehicle floating in the pond between 3 and 4 a.m. with the lights on, Cotta reported.
"Several of the witnesses searched the water as well as the shore but could not locate Mr. Cordeiro," said Cotta. He said witnesses surmised that he left the area because he had borrowed the vehicle from a friend and may have been concerned about consequences.
Asked why police believe he drove the land vehicle into the water, Cotta said they don't know how it ended up in the water.
About 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Cordeiro's sister, whom Cotta could not identify, contacted them to say that friends of her brother contacted her because the victim could not be found.
When contacting police initially, she could not tell them the precise location of the pond, Cotta said.
Officer Richard Medeiros located the all-terrain vehicle on the pond's shore and the nine friends shortly afterwards, about 9:20 a.m., reports said. The vehicle had been removed from the water.
Police dispatched its dive team and a private helicopter owned by Rhode Island Aerial, which volunteered its services, according to Cotta's report.
Detective Mark Maynard and Officer David Oikarinen, assisted by the State Police and Bristol County District Attorney's Office, are investigating the incident.
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