FRESNO, Calif. - A body found Saturday in a central Fresno canal has been positively identified as Lucy Xiong, the 20-year-old who disappeared more than a week ago.
Xiong went missing Friday, July 28 after running away from home. Her boyfriend told detectives that during their final phone conversation, Xiong seemed to be walking on gravel when she screamed and the line disconnected.
"There were no injuries found on Lucy Xiong's body that would have caused her death, so at this point and time the cause of death is determined to be drowning," Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said.
While the case remains under investigation, Dyer believes Xiong accidentally fell into the Fresno canal back on July 28th somewhere near First and McKinley and never recovered.
"There's also no evidence to suggest Lucy Xiong's death involved foul play," Dyer said.
But that's not what her father believes. Fresno police notified family members Monday morning that the body discovered Saturday in the canal near Van Ness Avenue and Elizabeth Street was indeed Lucy's.
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"I believe someone abducted her and did something bad to her because she would never do this to herself," Lucy's father Kor Xiong said. "We're not going to stop because we believe something else happened to her."
Investigators have interviewed one of the suspects who allegedly stole Xiong's identity the night she went missing. That suspect is not believed to be involved in Xiong's death but is expected to be arrested later this week on fraud charges after finding Xiong's purse near the canal and taking her credit cards.
"She's very cooperative, she understands that she's going to be arrested," Dyer said. "It's just the timing of that arrest, tie up some loose ends prior to the arrest."