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Sheriffs' teams search Lake Oroville for longtime missing man

Published On: Dec 24 2013 08:01:17 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 19 2013 04:06:34 AM CST

Deputies from several sheriff's offices searched Lake Oroville Wednesday after getting a tip about missing man Neal King.


The search for a man missing out of Butte County since March started up again Wednesday when multiple sheriff's offices combed Lake Oroville using high tech equipment.

Neal King, originally of McCallen, Texas, went missing March 26 in the Berry Creek area.

Foul play is suspected in his disappearance, which officials have said may have been the result of a marijuana or marijuana related real estate deal gone bad.

Deputies have searched far and wide for any sign of King, but they have been waiting to search the waters of Lake Oroville until the conditions were just right.

"They needed to wait for the lake to get down low enough," says Butte County Undersheriff Kory Honea. "And then about two weeks ago, as we were waiting for the level of the lake to get low enough, we received an anonymous tip indicating that Neal King's body may have been dumped off the bridge and into the water below, so it was the right time for us."

Butte , Placer and Yuba County Sheriff's Offices joined forcesTuesday to look for King's body in the waters underneath the Bidwell Bar Bridge, a suspension bridge on the eastern side of the lake.

Placer County Sheriffs brought their underwater remote vehicle and Yuba County Sheriffs came along with a boat equipped with side scanning sonar.

Although Wednesday's search proved unsuccessful, authorities are planning on searching the same area again in the near future.

For now they are working to secure equipment that will allow them to search the deeper depths underneath the bridge.