Helicopters, boats, divers continue search for boy presumed missing in Skagit River

CONWAY, Wash. – It’s been nearly 24-hours since a 2-year-old boy went missing along the Skagit River near the small town of Conway.

Search crews loaded into boats and resumed their search for the child early this morning.

The Skagit County Sheriff’s Office here says they searched until around 11 p.m. Thursday night and got back onto the river around 9 a.m. Friday morning.

They’re also getting help from the U.S. Navy and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol searching from the sky but the Skagit River’s cold temperature and swift current have been a challenge.

“It’s very challenging for the divers because it’s very swift and the water is high and murky,” said SCSO Chief Chad Clark.

The call for help came just before sunset Thursday when family members said a 2-year-old boy had been riding an electric toy car when he went missing.

“We saw some tracks that lead to the river bank and the toy found in the water,” said Clark.

The boy’s family was too upset to talk on camera but told Q13 News they are praying for a miracle – the sheriff’s office hopes to recover the body.

“What we’re hoping for is a recovery mission and we do find the boy for the family,” said Clark.

“We came out because we wanted to offer support and prayers for the family,” said Aurelia Bailey.

Baily, member of the nearby Swinomish Tribe, says she knows the family’s pain.

“We know what it’s like to go through this because we’ve had family members as well lost to the river, we know the feeling of fear, uncertainty, hope, but most of all thinking of the child,” she said. “Hoping that someway somehow the water will return him to this family.”

The sheriff’s office says at this point they don’t suspect foul play – but they are warning others who live, work or play near dangerously cold water to always wear a life vest.

“The temperature of the water has gone down substantially and you can only last for so long and we’re talking about a 2-year-old boy,” said Clark.

Sheriff’s deputies say they plan to continue their search until sunset and then resume Saturday morning.