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Search for ESL Girl Ends; Drowning Presumed


East St. Louis, Ill. – The search for an East St. Louis girl who fell into a rain-swollen drainage ditch has been called off.

Authorities say Chermeka Davis likely drowned and they'll wait to see if her body surfaces in two or three days. Davis was walking along the embankment, known as the Harding Ditch, with her boyfriend and boyfriend's brother when she slipped.

Rescue teams from eight communities and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources were part of the unsuccessful effort to locate her.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services says Davis was placed in foster care in October after a child abuse investigation.

A DCFS spokeswoman says the agency is now proceeding on the presumption that the youth drowned.