FRESNO, California. (KGPE) – The body of the woman who firefighters believe fell into a Fresno canal nearly one week ago has been positively identified.
Rescue crews said 38-year-old Fannie Chindapheth went under in the area of McKinley and Milbrook last Wednesday.
She was pulled from the water near West and Ashlan Tuesday afternoon after a passerby alerted police to a body floating down the canal.
“They followed the body to the area of Ashlan and West where the officers were able to intercept the body and with the assistance of fire personnel they were able to remove the body,” Sgt. Diana Trueba Vega with the Fresno Police Department said.
Dive teams had been searching and the irrigation district lowered water levels and installed strainers to catch anything passing through.
Shane Brown with the Fresno Fire Department acted as the liaison for Chindapheth’s family. He said they were on scene after she was found and positively identify her.
“It’s been a rough time. They’re looking for answers. They were looking for, you know just wanting to know was she in the water? Did she get out? I mean I can’t imagine what they’re going through,” Brown said.
Brown said crews faced challenges early on, first with misinformation, hearing Chindapheth was pushed in the water and wearing all pink. Both proved false.
They were also faced with miles of canal and massive amounts of debris. But he said the first responders involved are happy the family now has some answers.
“To be able to confirm that it was their missing loved one and to just know now that they’re no longer in that situation and that they can take the next step to grieve and to move forward,” he said.
Investigators do not believe any foul play is involved, but Chindapheth will have a full exam done by the coroner to rule everything out.
The family has a GoFundMe to help pay for final expenses.