Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Two years ago, an entire Hmong family drowned in the Mississippi River while fishing, their boat pulled too close to Lock and Dam 7, sucked under the turbid waters. All but one family member’s body was recovered: mother, See Her; stepfather, Cha Kong Yang; and sister, Amanda Xiong. Joshua Xiong, 10-year-old son of See Her, was never found.
But last week, Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand said that he’d received some information that may result in the final bit of closure the family needs. A fisherman casting near the I-90 bridge hooked his line on something he had trouble pulling in. And when the line was finally drawn in, he found a small zipper, one that may have belonged to Joshua’s pants.
That zipper now sits in a zip lock bag on Brand’s desk, and it could be the last clue dive and rescue teams need to recover the body of the youngster whose life was claimed summers ago.
“It’s a long shot,” admitted Brand of the possibility the zipper may lead to a body. “But the family would like us to look closer.”
Brand said that the county’s Dive and Rescue team will likely head out to search the area with underwater cameras in the coming week. The exact date of the search will depend on the weather, he said.