The body and car of Jacob Vanzant was discovered in the delta off West Eight Mile Road.
Jacob Vanzant was a 24-year old male who went missing somewhere between Lodi and Stockton on February 17, 2023. His last confirmed location was a sushi restaurant on the east side of Lodi, and his destination was to be his girlfriend’s residence in central Stockton. Unfortunately, he never arrived at his destination, and his body was discovered in his white Honda Pilot submerged in the delta off W Eight Mile Rd.
Adventures With Purpose, an underwater search and rescue dive team, was the team that went on the missing person’s case, as the Lodi Police Department does not have a missing person’s department. This team was the first to discover the vehicle, along with 15 other vehicles.
On April 15, 2023, Adventures With Purpose held a Facebook live stream to provide information on this case. They report that Jacob Vanzant was last seen at a Sushi Restaurant in Lodi. He had forgotten his wallet, but those at the restaurant knew Mr. Vanzant and told him to come back to pay some other time. Those with Adventure With Purpose speculate he may have stopped at Costco to pull out some money for the sushi restaurant. Family members also lived in the area, so he could have stopped around their homes. The team also speculates that Mr. Vanzant might have been drinking at the restaurant, but they provide no evidence for this other than the mysterious behavior seen from the Honda Pilot later that night.
It was reported that Jacob Vanzant’s Honda Pilot was seen at the intersection of Eight Mile Road and Armstrong Road around 7:38pm. The vehicle was sitting at the red light for approximately two and a half minutes — enough time for the light to cycle twice. Those behind the vehicle followed him to the south, but lost sight around Whistler Way and Lower Sacramento Road. The drivers assume it was Jacob Vanzant behind the wheel, but could not confirm. The team spoke with the family and discovered Mr. Vanzant’s last cell phone ping was on West Eight Mile Road around the King Island Marina Resort area.
The Adventures With Purpose team drove around the area, but could only park their large team around the southern point of Empire Track Road. This area is where they discovered numerous vehicles, along with Jacob Vanzant’s body inside his vehicle. The live stream claims they discovered around 15 vehicles, but the map they showed has 25 written in red. The AWP team contacted the Lodi Police Department to remove the vehicle and take Mr. Vanzant’s body to the coroner’s. It was believed that Mr. Vanzant may have been intoxicated and drove off a boat ramp into the delta at West Eight Mile Road. However, this is only speculation at the time.
The family is devastated to learn of Jacob Vanzant’s passing, and wish for some privacy at this time. A terrible and unfortunate end to this missing person’s case.
It does not appear that the other vehicles will be removed from the delta. It has been rumored that many stolen vehicles were driven into the delta around this area.