Niland, California - On Tuesday, at approximately 6:45 PM, Imperial County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Siphon 7 area of the Coachella Canal in the Niland Slabs. This was in reference to a report of a female juvenile who had drowned in the canal.
Deputies conducted an immediate search of the canal from the banks utilizing a helicopter and teams from the Sheriff’s Office and Imperial Irrigation District (IID) underwater search teams. Sheriff’s deputies, Coachella Canal district personnel and United States Border Patrol Agents continued searching the canal from the banks throughout the night, with the juvenile not being located.
Due to the circumstances surrounding the drowning investigators were called to the scene to investigate. Heinrich Boykins, a 57 year old Niland resident was subsequently arrested and booked into the Imperial County Jail for child endangerment, voluntary manslaughter and other charges.
On Wednesday, July 29th, divers from the Sheriff’s Office and IID conducted an extensive underwater search for the missing juvenile. A fixed wing airplane from the California Highway Patrol and a helicopter from United States Customs also conducted extensive searching of the canal and surrounding areas from the air. The juvenile was not located during these searches.
On Thursday, July 30th, personnel continued to search for the missing juvenile. The juvenile was located and recovered deceased, in the canal several miles into the Riverside County area. The case was submitted to the Imperial County District Attorney’s office for review and formal charges against Boykins were filed.