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2nd day of river search for 6-year-old concludes; park remains closed


Columbus Police Department sent this tweet at 9:45 p.m.

Water rescue personnel have suspended their search for Brendan Sperry due to darkness. Rescue crews from several agencies spent nearly 15 hours on the water today. The search for Brendan will commence again Saturday morning. Mill Race Park will remain closed to the public. 


COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) — Authorities in Columbus on Friday continued their search of the East Fork of the White River for a 6-year-old boy missing since Thursday.

His family on Thursday night identified the boy as Brendan Sperry.

The boy was swept away by the currents while he was playing on a sandbar with his mother and two girls at Mill Race Park on Thursday afternoon, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said. 

Authorities said the boy was wearing Spider-Man swimming trunks that are possibly red. 

Crews had begun searching on Thursday around 3 p.m. and suspended their boats, drones and helicopters Thursday night until daylight.

At sunrise Friday they were back out with boats, drones, police dogs and divers. Around 6 p.m. Friday, three boats with search crews were on the water. 

The focus of the search on Friday was south of the sandbar, where the boy was last seen.

Officials said rivers pose challenges in search efforts because of debris and the constant motion of the water.

Crews have asked that civilians not assist in the search because it could put them in danger as well.

Authorities plan to continue searching until nightfall.

A Department of Natural Resources report said 29 people 12 and younger drowned in 2017 in Indiana. Most of those drownings were in private ponds and pools.