UPDATE: Officials confirm body pulled from lake missing Menifee man, 34

UPDATED: Saturday, Oct. 27, 1 p.m. With victim’s identification and other details.

LAKE ELSINORE — Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner officials have confirmed that a body pulled from Lake Elsinore lake Thursday morning, Oct. 25, was that of 34-year-old, Samuel “Sam” Selay, of Menifee.

The announcement has left Selay’s family overcome with grief, Selay’s wife explained after she was notified that sheriff and coroner officials had located and positively identified her missing husband.


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Selay was reported missing five days earlier on Saturday, Oct. 20, around 1 p.m., after he set off for an afternoon of kayaking on the lake. He was last seen with a bright, orange Lancer “sit in” kayak and wearing dark workout clothing.

Family and friends are mourning the loss of Samuel Selay, whose body was pulled from Lake Elsinore five days after he was reported missing. Selay family photo

Selay’s vehicle was later discovered near the lake by family members, leading sheriff’s officials to believe he may have entered the water at Elk Grove Beach off Lakeshore Dr.

Although the coroner did not specify the manner or cause of Selay’s death, Riverside Sheriff’s spokesperson Deputy Robyn Flores later said there would be no further investigation into Selay’s death.

“This seems to be a tragic accident,” Flores explained.

Selay leaves behind his wife Brittney and four children; 17-year-old, Journey; 10-year-old, Serenity; 7-year-old, Jordan; and 3-year-old, Nolan.

“My entire world is broken,” Brittney posted on Facebook after the 10 a.m. call Thursday morning from sheriff’s officials that forever changed her family’s life. “Every dream we had, every goal, all the milestones our children have to get through without him, places left untraveled dreams broken at the seams.”

“Sam was a wonderful man,” the mourning wife and mother explained. “He wanted to inspire others to (pursue) greatness and see their inner strength. He was dedicated, loyal, and the best father you’ve ever (met).”

“We’ve spent our whole lives together,” Brittney, who said she and Sam met when they were just 17 and 20, continued. “We weathered storm after storm and against our odds our love endured. Rest in Peace my love.”

SEE ALSO: UPDATE: Family confirms body found in Menifee that of missing 64-year-old

Selay’s grieving family has created a GoFundMe account to help raise money for funeral expenses and other costs and Brittney has asked for the community to keep her family in their prayers as she “tries to figure out how to put all of the pieces back together” for her and her children. The fundraiser had raised nearly $7,000 after its first two days.

Lake Elsinore PD has requested that anyone who may have seen Selay the day of or after his disappearance to contact Detective Klemp at (951) 245-3300. Callers can remain anonymous.


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, recently moved to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 14 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.


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