|Birth: ||Oct. 18, 1997|
|Death: ||May 15, 2007|
On Tuesday, May 15, 2007, 9 year old 4th grade Del Mar Elementary School student, Yshema Snowden, of Fresno, was walking home from school when she lost her footing, while trying to retrieve a basketball from the water, and fell into the Herndon Canal. Fresno Fire Department search and rescue teams arrived on the scene soon thereafter and dove into the canal looking for the child, but said high waters made it difficult to search. Searchers numbered about 40, including officers on motorcycles and a Fresno County sheriff's helicopter that hunted for any sign of the girl along the canal banks while family, friends, and neighbors (including this contributor) lined the canal banks and prayed.
Family members arrived as the afternoon turned to evening. They gathered, many of them in tears, in the yard of Eddie Mendoza Jr., who lives near the spot where Yshema fell into the water. Irene Villanueva, who also lives nearby, said Mendoza was one of the first on the scene; frantically pushing aside debris under the bridge with a long-handled pole, searching for the girl. Mendoza said he became aware the girl had fallen in the water when he and his sister heard the cries of the girl's brother. He added that he wanted to jump in the canal to find her, but was cautioned against it by arriving officers.
On Wednesday, May 16th, around 11:30a.m., divers recovered Yshema, floating in the water. "It was the saddest thing I have ever seen," said Louis Canales, who held back tears while recalling the sight of her body, about a half-mile downstream. The Fresno Fire Department said, "Motor officers were searching the banks and had gone down ahead of the canal search, crossed over Palm Avenue and a motor officer spotted her from the bank."
Yshema was the youngest of 10 children. She, and her brother, lived with their mother; the rest of the children grown and on their own. Yshema liked to dance, sing church songs, wear dresses and help other girls with their hair. A spokeswoman for Fresno Unified School District, described Yshema as bright and always smiling. "Everyone knew her. She was always wearing a smile."
Funeral: Cornerstone Church
Monday, March 21, 2007
Pastor Jim Franklin, Officiating
Belmont Memorial Park
Created by: Row Walker
Record added: May 19, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19446764