MESA – Police believe a 7-year-old boy may have drowned after he jumped into a Mesa canal to save his friend.
Police say it all unfolded around 5 p.m. on Thursday when four boys, ages 6 to 11 years old, were playing by the canal near University Drive and Ellsworth Road.
The 11-year-old boy either slipped in or dove in the water and his 7-year-old friend, Aldo Rubio, jumped in to help. The 11-year-old made it out of the canal, but Rubio boy did not. The three other boys ran for help.
Search teams scoured the cold, murky waters for several hours, looking for signs of Rubio. As the news spread, neighbors joined in the rescue effort.
By 9 p.m. most of the search was scaled back. Police cited cold temperatures and choppy water. In some parts the water is 20 feet deep.
Police are now saying the search has gone from a rescue to a recovery effort. They plan to resume on Friday morning.