GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – Two days after he went missing, a passerby on Saturday discovered Danny Sheya after his SUV had gone off an embankment on eastbound Highway 6 and into Clear Creek near Golden.

Danny Shaya (credit: CBS)

Danny Shaya (credit: CBS)

Colorado State Patrol investigators and the Jefferson County coroner are looking into what caused Sheya, 65, to drive off the road, and just how long he had been in the creek before he was discovered.

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Danny Shaya (credit: Family Photo)

Danny Shaya (credit: Family Photo)

“What we’re told is it’s probably a cardiac arrest while driving,” Danny Sheya’s niece Alia Sheya said.

Alia Sheya is still in shock.

“He was a beautiful person that deserves to be remembered, not as the person in the creek, but the person who was filled with so much love,” she said.

Days of searching for her Uncle Danny, who had been missing since Thursday night, came to a heartbreaking end when someone spotted him and his car partially submerged under water.

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“This just happened to be a place where there are no guard rails or anything like that to protect him,” Chief John Bales with Golden Fire Rescue said. “So it was into the water and down a pretty steep embankment.”

Alia Sheya said her uncle was on his way back to his Aurora home from a business trip in Utah when his car veered off the road. She feels grateful, not only to the countless friends, family members and near-strangers who helped find him, but also the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office that lead the search.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“So close to the holidays, I can’t help but think that this is what Christmas is — is having people come together,” she said.

The family said part of what made the search so difficult was the fact that the search area was so large. Danny Sheya’s cellphone was also an older model and didn’t have a GPS locator.

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