Police: Body found in Gilbert canal is likely missing teen


by Jared Dillingham

Bio | Email | Follow: @JaredDillingham


Posted on August 29, 2014 at 6:01 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 29 at 8:10 AM

Map: Canal near Val Vista Drive and Williams Field Road

View larger map

GILBERT, Ariz. -- Police say a body pulled from a canal Wednesday afternoon is likely that of missing 15-year-old Maxwell Flancer.

Flancer's mother reported him missing Tuesday night and found his hat floating in the canal near their home in Gilbert on Wednesday.

Gilbert police and a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office dive team searched the canal near Val Vista Drive and Williams Field Road for an hour. They used a robot equipped with sonar and an underwater camera to find the body.

"The possibility of foul play is something we'll look at, but we also have to look at whether suicide or something else (could have played a role)," said Sgt. Jesse Sanger of the Gilbert Police Department.

Sgt. Sanger says the teen frequently walked along the canal, while going between his parents' homes.

"He was a sensitive and intelligent student," Flancer's former teacher, Cameron Harris, told reporters. "He used to set up his guitar and a stage at the end of the school day and play Beatles songs."

Flancer's father owns popular restaurants in the East Valley, which are named after the family.

"Our thoughts are with them. It's just so unfortunate," Harris said.