New details into investigation in which a teenager was found dead in an Arvin canal.

Late last month, the coroner's office ruled 18-year-old Alejandro Pantoja's death an accidental drowning, after his body was fund in a canal off Rockpile Road.
ARVIN, CA -- The Kern County Sheriff's Department has turned its investigation over to the district attorney's office and is recommending murder and burglary charges be filed against 27-year-old Francisco Vidal, the man officials believe was in the car with 18-year-old Alejandro Pantoja.

Late last month, the coroner's office ruled Pantoja's death an accidental drowning, after his body was found in a canal off Rockpile Road.  The sheriff's department said they believe Vidal was driving the car that he and Pantoja were in when it went into a canal.

Pantoja's family members said Pantoja left with Vidal the night of January 23 in the same vehicle that was found a mile from where Pantoja's body was found floating.

The family has said all along they don't believe Pantoja's death was an accident.  Sheriff's officials said Vidal is not in custody, and they do not know his location as of Tuesday.

Sheriff's detectives say they found stolen property in the car and a stolen, loaded gun with Pantoja's body.  They add, the stolen property was taken during a burglary the same day Pantoja disappeared.

The district attorney's office will now decide on whether to file charges.


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