Police search for missing man in canal


POSTED: Monday, March 24, 2014 - 3:56pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 7:47am

Police fear an undocumented immigrant is dead after he never made it out of a canal. 

It happened near the eastern edge of La Joya. 

"One individividual jumped into a canal and got caught in the middle and never came out on the other side," Peñitas Police Chief Roel Bermea said. "That's what we're looking for to verify that." 

Workers have put a dam in the canal on both sides of Highway 83 so they can drain the water and go underneath to look for the body.  Police say he was trying to avoid attention by wading through the water in the tunnel. He was seen going in, but was never seen coming out.

"I'm assuming they were trying to avoid the traffic," Bermea said. "Two of them jumped. One was pulled out before the current took them underneath." 

The missing man was part of a group of seven people trying to enter the country and make it north.  After they left him, they got into a car.

"They got involved in a pursuit where there was a bailout," Bermea said. "Picked up six illegal immigrants, turned them over to border patrol."

Investigators are going solely off the information given to them by the members of the group.  

By late Monday afternoon officials have yet to find the missing man. 


Officers say going into the canal tunnel is not normally done by immigrants looking to enter the country.  

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