Body of Missing Boy Found in Green River/Flaming Gorge Reservoir Area
The body of a missing 7-year-old boy was found by a search and rescue team about 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Big Firehole Canyon area of the Green River and Flaming Gorge Reservoir, according to a prepared statement from the Sweetwater County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday night.
The boy had been missing since he and his 34-year-old father left their campsite in an all-terrain vehicle on Thursday night and did not return, according to a report from an eyewitness.
After searching Friday and Friday night, deputies on Saturday morning saw an oil slick and debris in the water below an approximately 250-foot cliff.
Mid-day Saturday, divers located a submerged ATV in the immediate area of the debris. Deputies recovered from the ATV the body of an adult male matching the description of the missing father.
Further search efforts by water, air and on foot yielded no results, and the Sweetwater County Sheriff's Office on Monday enlisted the help of Sublette County's Tip Top Search and Rescue team to conduct side-sonar scanning.
After nearly 12 hours of scanning and several follow-up dive attempts by volunteers from the Sweetwater County Dive Team, a body matching the description boy was recovered.
"Early Tuesday morning, we deployed maritime assets from Tip Top and our Marine Unit, volunteers from our dive team, and several communications and support elements on the ground from the sheriff's office," sheriff's office spokesman Deputy Jason Mower said Tuesday.
"At times throughout the day, wind and diving conditions were less than ideal, but everyone was focused on the same thing. It's a tragic situation, but we're just grateful to have located this child," Mower said.
Sheriff John Grossnickle said horrific and unexplainable things happen sometimes to otherwise good people who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"Our hearts hurt for this family, but we find some solace in being able to provide them with the closure that they deserve," Grossnickle said. "This would not have been possible without the help and cooperation of everyone involved."
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