Little boy, 6, swept away by river while swimming with family

Rescue crews continued their search Friday for a 6-year-old Indiana boy who reportedly vanished Thursday afternoon while swimming with family.

WRTV reported that Brendan Sperry was with his mother, brother, two sisters, and cousin at Flat Rock River in Columbus when he went into deeper water. The boy’s uncle, James Pepper, said the 14-year-old cousin tried to grab Sperry but she ran out of breath while going under water and let go of him in a panic.

“It’s not something you want anyone to go through but especially young children. The oldest one that was there was 14, the youngest one was a year younger, the little sister to Brendan,” said Jim Humphrey, the missing boy’s grandfather.

Currents have been especially strong due to the recent rainy weather, according to WIBC. Indiana Conservation Office Corporal Jet Quillen revealed that the 6-year-old wasn’t wearing a life vest when he was swept away.

Crews had to stop their search Thursday because it had become too dark. The Republic reported that they reconvened their efforts Friday; dogs are being used to comb the riverbanks while boats equipped with sonar are being used to search the overlook site at the back of Mill Race Park.

Reports indicated that police are also utilizing an air boat and a hovercraft. Quillen said on-foot searchers are zeroing in on the area south of the sandbar where Sperry was last seen. Earlier in the day, divers took to the water in hopes of locating the 6-year-old, according to the news outlet.

The boy’s grandfather revealed that Sperry’s father is a sergeant in the National Guard and is on his way home from Austrailia.

“Until there’s a resolution, there’s always hope,” he told reporters Thursday evening.

“But at this point, we aren’t expecting a whole lot. The prayers help, but right now they’re not going to make a difference.”

[Featured image: Brendan Sperry/WIBC]