Search for missing Selah teen continues

Search for missing Selah teen continues »Play Video
YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- The Yakima County Sheriff's Office is trying to piece together a puzzle that started early Wednesday morning.

They received reports of clothes along a portion of the Roza Canal in East Selah. On Thursday, a call from a panicked mother reporting her 18-year-old son was missing.

Now deputies think the two cases are related, and it's brought them to the Roza Canal.

YSO told KIMA that they know someone slid into the canal Wednesday morning, which could prove lethal.

“Water temperature yesterday was at 51 degrees," said Sgt. George Town of the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office. "You get in that water, and it's fast-moving; it's very difficult to survive very long in that."

Difficult to survive and difficult to search. Yakima County Search and Rescue is now on day two of its investigation. Dive teams are using underwater cameras to search for any trace of the young man.

"In the dirt sections, in the transition areas where that occurs is some of the areas we're focusing. That tends to cause the water to slow a little bit, and some areas where people will hang up," said Sgt. Town.

Yesterday, they searched what they call a high-probability area. Nothing was found.

"In the back of my mind, I hope that he got out and he shows up," said Darin Tusler of Yakima County Search and Rescue.

But the sheriff's office isn't limiting its search to just the river. They're also on ATVs and in vehicles scanning these areas for any clues of the missing teen's whereabouts. They have a vast distance to search, starting in Terrace Heights and eventually all the way to the Lower Valley.

Teams say they will be out until dark if they have to.

"I do it for the closure," said Tusler. "You know, if I can help someone get closure, that's why we're out here - or to find someone alive."

Right now, there's no motive and foul play hasn't been ruled out. The sheriff's office is not releasing the teen's name.

Saturday afternoon, search and rescue reported someone called in saying they had spotted a body in the Roza Canal in Zillah. Search teams searched that portion of the canal. They did not find anything.