Two teens, 8-year-old girl missing after attempted Mississippi River rescue
The family of a 15-year-old New Orleans boy is heartbroken after he went missing while trying to save his girlfriend who fell into a river.
As reported by WWL-TV, Kevin Poole was visiting a New Orleans park near the Mississippi River with his girlfriend, Brandy Wilson, 14, and her sister, Ally Wilson, 8, on Saturday, when Brandy slipped near the water’s edge and fell into the river. Poole quickly went in after her, as did Ally, and “all three were pulled down by the river’s current and have not been found since,” per the outlet.
The sister’s 5-year-brother was also at the park and ran to get help after the kids fell into the water, according to WWLTV. Although their bodies have not yet been recovered, family members suspect the three minors died from drowning.
“I need my kids. They know I need them,” said Octavia Wilson, the girls’ mother, who was hospitalized at the time due to complications from a heart condition.
“My daughter said she was trying to give me a break. I don’t need a break, I need my children,” she continued.
According to the report, 93 miles of the river were searched before the US Coast Guard suspended rescue efforts.
“The decision to suspend any search and rescue case is never easy but considering the extensive search efforts of our Coast Guard men and women, in conjunction with other response agencies, I’ve made the difficult decision to suspend our active search for the three children,” said Captain Kelly Denning in a statement.
“Our prayers are with the families during this difficult time,” Denning added.
“When you don’t know where somebody is, the nightmare never ends,” diver Mark Michoud, who is helping the family in their search, told FOX affiliate WVUE.
Saturday marked the first time the sisters were allowed to go out on their own, the girls’ father, Allen Berry, told investigators, according to the report.
“God knows I wish it would’ve never happened,” family member, Nedra Berry, told WVUE about the “freak accident.”
As the search continues, Keyaka Davis, an aunt to the sisters, told the news station that the family is aware the kids likely won’t be found alive.
“We’re calling them our little angels now,” said Davis.
“I believe we all want to see what we all want to see – peace and closure,” said Davis. “These babies united in love. They went to help each other.”
As reported by PEOPLE, Poole is a student and football player at LB Landry High School in New Orleans. Keenan Lewis, Poole’s coach, and a former New Orleans Saints player said in an emotional message on Instagram that news of the tragic accident “destroyed me and this is going to hurt for the rest of my life.”
Lewis added, “You made me so proud, you sacrifice your life to try and save another, you a true soldier,” he wrote. “I’m going to miss you.”
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