Crews still searching for Tacoma boy, 5, presumed drowned

Staff writerMay 29, 2014 

The river where a 5-year-old Tacoma boy likely drowned Monday is running too swift and cold for recovery crews to continue their daily search.

Searchers will continue to check the Cispus River in Randle and wait until the water level drops a few feet before they probe a logjam where the boy’s body could be.

A spotter in a helicopter Tuesday thought he recognized the boy’s shirt beneath a logjam in the middle of the river but crews said the river was too deep and moving too fast to safely look.

As temperatures warm in the coming days, snowmelt will continue to bring the river level up. Search crews and a helicopter will return to the area next week, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department. They are also considering bringing in a tracking dog.

“Our searchers have worked relentlessly trying to recover this little boy’s body. Most of us have children and understand the extreme importance of recovering this little guy for his family,” said Sheriff Steve Mansfield, adding that current river conditions are too dangerous even for trained rescuers.

The boy, who has not been identified, fell into the river Monday while riding a motorcycle around an unimproved campground near Randle.

His 32-year-old father jumped into the river after his son but was unable to save him. The man was swept about a half mile downriver before he could swim to shore.

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