Authorities said a 31-year-old man in Scottsdale, Arizona, died on Monday after breaking into an outdoor aquatic center and getting stuck in a water slide support pipe.
The Scottsdale Police Department said in a statement that the man, identified to Insider by police as Ryan Kelly, broke into the Eldorado Aquatic and Fitness Center around 12:30 a.m., and he was found trapped by a patrol officer in the area who had heard “faint calls for help” from inside the water park.
After about an hour of searching, the officer found Kelly, whom officers described as “transient,” inside a large, hollow, steel support pipe holing up a water slide structure.
Police said Kelly had climbed over a fence to gain access to the aquatic center, then became stuck by crawling inside the pipe. It remains unclear how exactly he climbed into the support pipe or why he did so.
The patrol officer called for back up, but he and others who joined on scene, including a team of firefighters, had limited verbal contact with Kelly as they tried to rescue him.
“He soon became unresponsive and was tragically determined to be deceased,” the police statement said. “It then took several more hours to dismantle the structure to the point that the body could be recovered.”
According to AZ Family, responders had to take apart parts of the water slide’s super structure.
“It wasn’t an easy feat,” police spokesman Kevin Watts said. “It took some work to get down in there, which obviously would not be the first place that people would be looking to find someone because of the difficulty.”
An investigation into the incident is ongoing, and the Maricopa County Medical Examiner is working to determine Kelly’s cause of death.
Eldorado remained closed on Tuesday,