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Sheriff’s Department scales back search for couple missing in Delta

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 - 8:47 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 - 8:55 pm

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department announced this evening that it will discontinue organized searches for a couple reported missing Thanksgiving Day from their boat in the Delta.

Although the search for Van Chanpenxi, 64, and Chantra Chanpenxi, 51, is not being suspended, detectives, volunteers, family and friends will continue the search independently, sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Bowman said in an email.

The couple left to go fishing on the Delta on Thursday. They have not been seen and have not contacted family since then. The U.S. Coast Guard found their unoccupied fishing boat in the water, north of the Rio Vista Bridge.

Organized searches over the past several days have failed to turn up any clues to their whereabouts. Bowman said today’s search was conducted mostly in the waters of the Delta south of Vieira’s Resort and Marina on Highway 160. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department had a boat on the water and was assisted by marine units from the Contra Costa and San Joaquin County sheriff’s departments.

Bowman said dive teams have not been requested for the search because of the vast area involved and uncertainty where the couple was last seen. She said the Delta waters are cold and murky, and dive teams would be deployed only if searchers were able to locate an item or area of interest.

Van Chanpenxi (pictured) is described as Laotian, 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing 155 pounds. He is bald and clean shaven, with brown eyes and wears glasses.

Chantra Chanpenxi (pictured) is Laotian, 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weighing 120 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information regarding the couple’s whereabouts is asked to call the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department at (916) 874-5115.


Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

Read more articles by Cathy Locke



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