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June 19, 2000

A 9-year-old Guatemalan boy drowned in the Verde River while swimming with his family on Father's Day.

Rescuers found the body of the boy, whose name is being withheld, around 4:30 p.m. Sunday in 5 feet of water. He was reported missing at 10:30 a.m., said Sgt. Dave Trombi, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spokesman.

Apparently, the boy's parents lost sight of him as he swam on a raft with several children, Trombi said. When the boy's parents, who are Guatemalan citizens living in Phoenix, realized he was missing they tried to call for help on a cell phone. Because of the remote area, the family could not get service for some time.

''Even my deputies had to use a 800 MHz radio for communication,'' Trombi said.

The boy's body was found about 20 feet from where he was swimming.

Reproduced with permission from:
The Arizona Republic
Byline: Compiled from Republic staff and wire reports.
©Copyright 2000 Arizona Republic

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