Local News

Wednesday, Dec 04 2013 08:12 PM

Coroner confirms body in canal is that of Erika Padron Lango

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    By Courtesy Delano Police Department

    Erika Padron Lango, who was missing since Oct. 9. Her body was found yesterday.

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Diana Torres fights back tears as she hopes the body pulled Tuesday from the Friant-Kern Canal east of Delano is not that of her missing friend, Erika Padron Lango. Wednesday, she found out that it was.

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

The mother of a 26-year-old woman missing for almost two months said Wenesday coroner's office investigators have told her the body pulled from the Friant-Kern Canal Tuesday is that of her daughter.

Esther Padron said investigators called her Wednesday evening and said fingerprints taken from the body matched the prints of her daughter, Erika Padron Lango. Thursday morning, the coroner's office publicly confirmed the identity.

The daughter went missing the night of Oct. 9. Her husband, Julio Lango, told police she left their Delano apartment to visit a friend.

Erika Lango never arrived at the friend's home or at work the next day. Extensive searches in the Delano area turned up nothing.

A canal worker discovered the body in the canal at 11:50 a.m. Tuesday a couple miles east of Delano. Kern County sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt said water levels had dropped several feet the past few days, and the canal worker saw the body in the water wedged against rocks on the west side of the canal.

The area of the canal where the body was found is north of Woollomes Avenue and east of Zachary Avenue.

Pruitt said the body had been in the water for an extended period of time and, based on what investigators could see, the death was suspicious. Friends and family of Erika Lango had gathered at the scene Tuesday afternoon, wondering if their friend and loved one had finally been found.

Erika Lango had filed a restraining order against her husband, who was arrested on suspicion of violating the order after she went missing. Police impounded Julio Lango's vehicle and found a red sweater and baseball bat inside, but said it was unknown if the items were connected to Erika Lango's disappearance.

Erika Lango's four children have been staying with relatives.

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