Fresno Irrigation District working on lowering water level of canal to help with search efforts for Lucy Xiong

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The Fresno Irrigation District is doing something they said they have not done in about seven or eight years to help with search efforts for Xiong. (KFSN)

The family of 20-year-old Lucy Xiong is anxiously waiting to hear if she is alive somewhere after rescue crews searched canals for her Tuesday afternoon with specialized equipment-- but they haven't found anything yet.

"So we were using the camera underwater, we were sticking the lens underwater and gathering a picture of that area on our camera to see if we had a potential victim," said Mark Woolley, Captain Fresno Fire.

The Fresno Irrigation District is doing something they said they have not done in about seven or eight years to help with search efforts for Xiong. A two day process to cut water levels in half so rescue teams can search a three mile stretch of canal Thursday morning.

"We're not taking the water entirely out of the canal, but we're taking it down to half which will allow everyone to look in the canal. We'll be able to see the bottom of the canal at that point," said Gary Serrato, General Manager Fresno Irrigation District.

Police said the last time anyone heard from Xiong was around 12:30 a.m. Friday morning. After getting in a fight with her mom she stormed off from their apartment off East Olive Avenue and called her boyfriend.

Xiong's boyfriend told police that about 10 minutes into the call, he heard Xiong yell an expletive and scream before the call got disconnected. No one has heard from her since.

Police said a report of a disturbance and possible drowning called into them around the same time and area in the early hours of Friday morning have led them to continue searching this area of Central Fresno.

Detectives said they are not putting their only efforts into searching the canal, they said Xiong's credit card was used about a dozen times since Friday by multiple people in the Tower District and in Madera. Police are in the process of enhancing surveillance video to find those suspects to see if they have any involvement in her disappearance.

Police said they were out here again Tuesday night canvassing the area with their search dog, but Thursday morning, once these water levels are lowered, there will be multiple agencies out here conducting that full search of the canal.

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