Calexico teen still missing - officials warn against swimming in

Imperial Valley

Calexico teen still missing - officials warn against swimming in canals

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CALEXICO, CA (13 On Your Side) - Police continue to search for the body of an 18-year-old teenager who drowned while swimming in the All-American Canal.

It's been four days since the 18-year-old Damian Placencia slipped underneath the water and disappeared.

Officials from three agencies including: Police, Border Patrol and from the Imperial Irrigation District - tell 13 On Your Side they have been searching up and down the All-American Canal looking for Placencia's body.

According to police, on Monday night the 18-year-old went swimming with friends. They say the current pulled him under. He did not come back up for air.

Robert Schettler with the Imperial Irrigation District tells 13 On Your Side - the water flow in canals looks deceiving because the surface appears calm, but underneath, the gravity is so strong, it moved water at a rapid pace and can easily pull a person under - drowning them.

"There's 1,700 miles of canals in the Imperial Valley - so to put a fence around all of that is financially and physically impossible. We've put buoys on the All-American Canal because from time to time there will be people out there doing whatever and they get too close to the canal and fall in."

Schettler warns: residents should stay away from the canal. And instead, cool off in a swimming pool.

Tomorrow police plan to bring in cadaver dogs. Plus, they plan a fly-over to see if they can find Placencia's body.         

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