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Searchers find car in NW Bakersfield canal with body inside, person identified

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Posted at 7:50 AM, Jan 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-24 20:04:14-05

UPDATE (Jan. 24, 2017 5:01 p.m.): BPD has identified the woman found in the car as 69-year-old Faye Ekdahl who was reported missing Monday evening.

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UPDATE (Jan. 24, 2017, 12:57 p.m.): BPD reports that the car has been found and it matches the vehicle listed to the missing person report. There is a body inside the vehicle but officials cannot identify the victim at this point.

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UPDATE (Jan. 24, 2017, 9:56 a.m.): Sergeant Gary Carruesco has shared that they received a missing person report on the evening of Monday, January 23, 2017, that matches the description of the car that went in the canal yesterday.

BPD stated that a missing elderly woman was driving a white Honda CR-V, which matches the description of the vehicle that reportedly went into the canal near the off-ramp of Coffee Road on Westside Parkway.

The Bakersfield Fire Department has sent out search and rescue teams and are currently continuing to search underground canal features in the area in an attempt to locate the vehicle.

Kern County Search and Rescue has been added to assist with the search.

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UPDATE (Jan. 24, 2017, 9:51 a.m.): According to the Bakersfield Police Department, the search and rescue efforts of reports of a vehicle in the canal near Truxtun Avenue and Coffee Road are still in progress with no definitive completion time.

Police personnel will be closing the bike path in that area as there are several large pieces of equipment moving around. This is  to ensure public safety and fluidity in the operation.

BPD anticipates this section of the bike path being closed throughout the remainder of the operation but will send out an advisory when it is reopened.

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UPDATE (Jan. 23, 2017, 8:56 a.m.): According to the Kern County Fire Department, around 7:30 a.m., a vehicle was traveling eastbound on Westside Parkway when it went down the embankment and into the canal.

Crews are now searching for the vehicle but have been unsuccessful in their efforts. KCFD stated it may have to make other arrangements to remove it from the canal.

KCFD also shared that the canal is currently deep enough to hide the vehicle and it could be submerged. An eyewitness stated that it was a small passenger truck.

Officials are advising the public to avoid the area. Coffee Road from Brimhall Road to Truxtun Avenue are closed to the public.

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According to the Bakersfield Police Department, they saw tire tracks leaving the roadway and head into the canal, but officers have not been able to find a car near Westside Parkway and Coffee Road.

Multiple emergency crews are on the scene near the Coffee Road off ramp and the eastbound exit from Westside Parkway has been shut down.

This story is developing.