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Two Suspected Illegal Immigrants -- Both Children -- Feared Drowned in Canal Near Gila Bend After Running From MCSO Deputy

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The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office fears that two suspected illegal immigrants -- both under the age of 18 -- drowned in a canal near Gila Bend after fleeing a car pulled over by a sheriff's deputy last night.

MCSO spokesman Jeff Sprong says the sheriff's dive team is headed to an area of the canal near mile post 11 on old US 80 to try and locate the bodies if the two did in fact drown.

The incident happened about 8:30 p.m. yesterday when a sheriff's deputy made a routine traffic stop on US 80. When the car came to a stop, the deputy says he watched five people jump out and start running from the vehicle.

The five suspected illegal immigrants jumped into the nearby canal in an attempt to evade the deputy. At the time, the MCSO says, the canal's water flow was heavy.

Three of the suspects were pulled from the canal, while deputies were unable to locate the other two.

Last week, deputies rescued a minor from the same canal, in the same general area, Sprong says.

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