GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Deputies are searching for a boy who was last seen in a river Wednesday afternoon in Greenville County.
According to the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, deputies received a call around 3:30 p.m. that a 12-year-old boy fell into the Saluda River.
Deputies said that the boy was playing with several young kids down by the river when it happened.
“They were playing down by the river. They live very close by. I don’t have all of their ages, but they were very young for sure. We have spoken to the parents, some other adults that live around that area,” said Greenvilel County Sheriff Hobart Lewis. “They had walked down to the river. It’s a couple hundred yards away and it’s very common for kids to be down and for people to be down there,” Lewis said. “So, it’s a pretty common place for people to go down there and swim and get in the water. It wasn’t uncommon for them to be down.”
There have been personnel from both the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office searching for the boy.
“They searched the banks. Canines are here. They completed those searches along and down the river. We also have folks here from Anderson County Emergency Management. I mean just a ton of resources out here, doing everything we can do to try to locate this young man, but we have not been able to do that successfully yet. So, we’re still working,” Lewis said.
Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis said the team faced a few hurdles during the search including a severe storm and the loss of daylight.
“The most challenging part is the fact that we hadn’t been able to find him and the more time that goes by, certainly the more grim it looks, and it’s very heartbreaking to see any child go through this,” Lewis said.
He added that they did not receive a lot of information from the children because the fall surprised them.
“Well, one really big challenge to be honest, is the fact that these were very small kids. They were down there playing, and this happened. It surprised them, they go back find an adult and get somebody to call the police. So, you don’t get a lot of information from those kids, when they left the scene on what they saw or what was happening the young man,” Lewis said.
“Then you have the challenge of the rain came, some pretty severe weather and the deputies and fire department personnel worked through that, but that certainly delayed their efforts, I think and really moving down the river at a faster pace,” Lewis said.
Due to inclement weather throughout the night, the dive team was pulled from the river, but deputies will continue to work throughout the night.
“We’re certainly staying here as the night goes on. We’re not going to leave this young man unfound,” Lewis said.