Thursday, December 23, 2010

Third body pulled from Arizona canal

A third body has been found at a Gila Bend canal where a group of illegal immigrants fled from authorities during a vehicle stop last week, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.

Authorities say deputies and fire personnel were in route to recover the body. Two bodies were recovered earlier Thursday.

Detectives believe that survivors did not disclose there may be a third body in the water to thwart investigators.

Three suspected illegal immigrants were rescued from the canal and arrested after a traffic stop near U.S. 80, and clothing descriptions helped identify the two males pulled earlier Thursday from the water, the Sheriff's Office said.

One of bodies is that of a 17-year-old boy who had been traveling with his father, who survived, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. The other body is that of a male believed to be age 17-21.

Last week, deputies launched a robot into the 8-foot-deep canal. The water was murky and so full of debris that no bodies were visible.

Arpaio mentioned that this is the third case where a juvenile, or reported juvenile, has jumped into the same canal near Gillespie Dam.

"There is a trend occurring, and it has to stop," Arpaio said.

The first took place two weeks ago when a juvenile jumped into the deep water and was rescued by deputies.

"They are still taking chances, trying to evade our law enforcement," Arpaio said.

Arpaio said human smuggling is a complex and controversial problem, and he is not going to stop.

"I'm going to crack down even more starting in the new year," Arpaio said.

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