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Archive for Saturday, July 2, 2011

Search for missing 7-year-old set to resume Sunday morning

Douglas County Underwater Search and Recovery Team members search the swim beach area at Lone Star Lake for a missing seven-year-old Kansas City, Mo. boy on Saturday, June 2, 2011. The crew suspended their search for the night due to darkness and will resume at first light on Sunday.

July 2, 2011, 6:21 p.m. Updated July 3, 2011, 8:59 a.m.

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Douglas County Underwater Search and Recovery Team members search the swim beach area at Lone Star Lake for a missing seven-year-old Kansas City, Mo. boy on Saturday, June 2, 2011. The crew suspended their search for the night due to darkness and will resume at first light on Sunday.

Douglas County Underwater Search and Recovery Team members search the swim beach area at Lone Star Lake for a missing seven-year-old Kansas City, Mo. boy on Saturday, June 2, 2011. The crew suspended their search for the night due to darkness and will resume at first light on Sunday.

Douglas County Underwater Search and Recovery Team members search the swim beach area at Lone Star Lake for a missing 7-year-old Kansas City, Mo., boy on Saturday, June 2, 2011. The crew suspended their search for the night due to darkness. They found the boy's body on Sunday.

Douglas County Underwater Search and Recovery Team members search the swim beach area at Lone Star Lake for a missing 7-year-old Kansas City, Mo., boy on Saturday, June 2, 2011. The crew suspended their search for the night due to darkness. They found the boy's body on Sunday.

Note: This story has been updated.

A Douglas County underwater search and recovery team planned to resume a search at Lone Star Lake for a 7-year-old Kansas City, Mo., boy at first light Sunday after being unable to find him Saturday evening.

Sgt. Steve Lewis, a Douglas County Sheriff’s spokesman, said witnesses had reported last seeing the boy swimming in the beach area in the afternoon, but he was reported missing and officers were called to the county lake southwest of Lawrence at 3:50 p.m.

Officers later roped off the swimming beach near the campground and called in the underwater team, which arrived at 6:40 p.m. and began searching water around a dock that separates shallow water near the beach from the rest of the lake to the north, Lewis said.

Rylan Adams, a 12-year-old Atchison boy at the lake with his family, said the atmosphere changed drastically at the lake in a few minutes Saturday afternoon from a fun holiday weekend into a stressful search for the missing boy. Rylan said he was playing in the water inside the dock, and he saw the boy who was later reported missing splashing in the water as well. Rylan didn’t know the boy.

“He didn’t go farther than his chest because he couldn’t really swim,” he said.

Rylan said about 10 minutes later he heard an adult ask where the boy was. He looked and didn’t see the boy in the water any more. Within minutes several adults began searching around the beach area before calling law enforcement.

“We all looked around here,” Rylan said. “He’s really young, and I wanted to help.”

Lewis said the sheriff’s office had called a chaplain to help the boy’s parents during the search.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family,” he said.

He also said looking for a missing child can be difficult on law enforcement and medical personnel.

“It’s definitely significantly hard on the family and friends, but it’s also tough on first responders, especially when it’s a child,” he said.

Lewis said the underwater team planned to resume its search Sunday morning, and the sheriff’s office was hoping to be able to use a boat with side-reading sonar to assist in the search.

Comments

HRCJJ 3 years, 5 months ago

Oh I hope he's just off somewhere doing silly boy stuff. :(

notanota 3 years, 5 months ago

Please let him have just wandered off to the woods and not the water.

notanota 3 years, 5 months ago

I'm so sad that this wasn't the case. That poor family.

LadyJ 3 years, 5 months ago

No word yet? Suddenly my day wasn't so bad after all.

Sean Rudisel 3 years, 5 months ago

Well said. No matter what my day doesnt compare.

Dixie Jones 3 years, 5 months ago

sending positive thoughts and prayers for this young child, and his family and friends .

Susan Rickman 3 years, 5 months ago

Just saw the Sheriff and search and rescue boat drive away from the lake, past our house. I hope that's a good sign.

Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 5 months ago

already pointing fingers, when you have such little information? un-freaking-believable.

relaytheurgency 3 years, 5 months ago

don't feed these trolls.

i heard about this from a friend who was at the beach today. hoping for the best.

kantubek 3 years, 5 months ago

Question remains. Where are the moderators to delete insensitive comments?

Janet FitzGerald 3 years, 5 months ago

I was there. Don't dare blame the family. This could have happened to anyone. Believe me, they are living a hell none of us want to go through.

kantubek 3 years, 5 months ago

So you say you were there? Go be insensitive somewhere else.

LadyJ 3 years, 5 months ago

Very thought provoking avatar, open to interpretation

notanota 3 years, 5 months ago

Drowning happens so fast and so quietly. I don't blame them at all.

my3girls 3 years, 5 months ago

What if he was there with grandparents or aunts/uncles? What does it matter where the parents were? It could happen to anyone whether the parents were watching or not. Have some respect.

LadyJ 3 years, 5 months ago

Odd, the comment count keeps going down but the comments remain. I think they are trying to delete the comments but there must be a computer problem. Maybe they should try just disappearding him completely.

kernal 3 years, 5 months ago

Those of you who feel nonracist's comments should be deleted: please click on "suggest removal" which will flag that commenter's statements so the moderator is more likely to see them quicker.

Caller Hunsaker 3 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 5 months ago

stop. stop spreading rumors. just because someone was suppossedly "there" doesn't mean they actually know exactly what happened. stop.

Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 5 months ago

just stop. Unless you were side by side with the family AND the victim, the whole time, you wouldn't know. Would you? I hope that poor child is found.

Caller Hunsaker 3 years, 5 months ago

NOT rumors Chelseadiane, my daughter was not supposedly "there".(By the way you spelled supposedly wrong only 2 S's) Did my comment say that? She is still there and has been there since Friday camping. She and her friends were contacted by the parents and helped search as did many others. Just because you did not like reading my entry you decided I was blaming someone and then judged and claimed my statements as rumors and had me censored. (How socialist of you)

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 5 months ago

Sorry, loboc, but Chelseadiane is correct.

Frankly, I think chelsea was responding to the way you worded your post...which actually did intimate more personal knowledge on the part of your daughter...and, therefore, you... than it turns out she (or you) apparently actually has.

Just because your daughter was at the campground...and even though she helped in the search...doesn't mean she actually knows the details of what happened, actually knows the details of what lead up to the little boy's being at the swimming area, actually knows who was or wasn't supposed to be watching him, etc., etc.

To most of us, "being there" does not mean "I was at the same campground where this happened". For you to post that your daughter was "there" and that, based on her being there, knew that the parents sent off their child unsupervised intimated a knowledge that your daughter apparently did not actually have.

I think of the countless times we've read parents quoted as saying "I should have been there" after some tragedy happened with their child...and know that it doesn't mean that they didn't know what their child was doing and/or that their child was unsupervised and/or that they were bad parents...or even that they should have been there. It's just a form of holding themselves responsible for a terrible, terrible loss that they likely could have done nothing about.

(BTW, since the article says an adult did ask where the boy was, apparently some adult was looking out for him.)

Rumors do spring up quickly in emergencies, often because many people tend to report themselves as being more closely involved in/knowledgable about a situation than they actually are. It's human nature.

All this aside, it was kind of your daughter and her friends to help in the search.

thoughtfully 3 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Caller Hunsaker 3 years, 5 months ago

Acorn, did you ever read my post that was removed? I doubt it. There was not any blame or criticizing of the parents. Only a report of facts as reported to me via cell phone as they happened. My issue was she judged them as rumors and doubted my daughter was really there. You are mislead acorn but you can have your opinion, I do not begrudge you that but just because I disagree should your comments be removed? That is the issue.

Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 5 months ago

i did not remove your comment, nor did i suggest your comment be removed. Again, please stop jumping to conclusions.

LadyJ 3 years, 5 months ago

Could we please stop with the parenting critiques for now and just hope the kid is ok?

somebodynew 3 years, 5 months ago

No what the LJW needs to do is STOP all comments until the outcome is known.

Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 5 months ago

usually people that say insensitive, uninformed comments like this have no kids. Or social skills. Or etiquette. Or friends. But they do have a computer! jeez.

Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 5 months ago

just stop being so mean. you don't know what happened. stop it.

Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 5 months ago

nope. that is why I am not passing judgement on the victims family.

LadyJ 3 years, 5 months ago

JK, this article needs to be deleted and start over with a new one with monitored remarks since nonracist/ljworldhater refuses to be banned.

Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 5 months ago

some things should be kept to yourself. Good parenting should have taught you that.

Fred Mertz 3 years, 5 months ago

Sheesh, if you don't like what they write then ignore it. Why go crying to the mod trying to censor what you don't like? This is true diversity - you take the good with the bad.

LadyJ 3 years, 5 months ago

It's called having compassion for fellow human beings and doing the decent thing. It is wrong to inflict pain on the family and friends at this time.

LadyJ 3 years, 5 months ago

As we have seen in the past, sometimes they do. Don't know if you saw the earlier post (now deleted) where the poster was in contact with a family member out there and posting their remarks. Who is to say somebody is not relaying comments being made here.

Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 5 months ago

It is possible to question situations without typing.

Jonathan Kealing 3 years, 5 months ago

Blaming of parents or victims will not be tolerated. Period. Find a different place to issue blame. For now, this comment space is reserved for thoughtful expressions of grief, sorrow or other communications. I'll even allow some discussion of the circumstances. But no blaming.

Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 5 months ago

Thank you. I hope this child is found. I am not a "praying woman", but I will be tonight.

notanota 3 years, 5 months ago

Thank you. I can't imagine the grief that family is experiencing right now.

stinkfist 3 years, 5 months ago

I consider myself an a-hole along with the best, and I think ljworldhater needs a little soul search and rescue. Too early to play the point the finger game.

Hope kiddo is ok.

armywife 3 years, 5 months ago

My 2 boys 7&10 are out camping with their dad and after reading this article I called immediately and let them know how much I love them! Let's all pray for this family and not think about all the negative I'm sure they are beating themselves up enough already. My heart goes out to them.

Caller Hunsaker 3 years, 5 months ago

OK my comment was removed but my daughter is not suppossedly "there", She is there and has been there since last evening. She was there when the parents first started asking around about the missing child just after 1PM. It was 2 hours later that they reported him missing asking for authorities for help. (As a parent I would search myself first so as not to bring police etc out for a simple child who you hope had wandered off to play.) Lots of concerned parents were all helping look for him. They had asked if anyone saw their son, that he had been allowed to go to the swimming beach with some other children. No blame was mentioned in my post just stating the facts as Jonathan should know and discern as a journalist. I will point out an evening news story the other day on the where lawmakers are seeking to pass a law requiring life vests for any child around or in the water NOT just while on a watercraft. So far our lawmakers are not willing to pass this law. I notice that they called off the search around 9:30 yet someone posted earlier that the search and rescue left and passed by their house at 8. Lets vote to remove that post as it is false.

Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 5 months ago

blah, blah, blah. Please let that child be safe.

Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 5 months ago

BTW, you spelled "suppossedly" wrong too.

Caller Hunsaker 3 years, 5 months ago

No you did in your post, I copied and pasted yours into mine to respond more directly to you. I guess you did not realize that. So..... "whatever". (By the way "Whatever" is a teenage responce to an adult when they have nothing else to say, So is "Blah Blah Blah" so you give your age away), and by the way when one of my own daughters disappeared several years ago there were no Mods removing rude comments about my daughter or myself. I was hurting and I was worried to hell. I did not see her again for months. I am a praying person unlike you, (as you admitted earlier) I have a relationship with my maker and his son. That means I talk to them daily in prayer, hense a "real-ationship". I have prayed for these parents because no matter the outcome our SRS child protective services will put these parents through hell in the coming weeks investigating them for child endangerment crap. Just to make them feel worse off when they really don't need it. But the news will not report on that.

jackpot 3 years, 5 months ago

Maybe they are using more than one boat?

Caller Hunsaker 3 years, 5 months ago

Exactly my point, so why spread a rumor that the search was over?

Susan Rickman 3 years, 5 months ago

It's because the a search and rescue boat was towed past our house at that time. That doesn't mean they stopped searching. They just took a search and rescue boat back to town.

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 5 months ago

No...you do not know what the parents said. You only know what you remember your daughter telling you that the parents said. Not even close to being the same thing. What you were reporting was hearsay, not fact. And, yes, your post did sound condemning of the parents. That's how it struck me upon reading it. Maybe that's not how you meant it...but it's how it came across.

Heck, you're now trying to "blame" someone else. You're trying to call someone a liar who reported that he, himself, "Just saw the Sheriff and search and rescue boat drive away from the lake, past our house. I hope that's a good sign." But all he was reporting was what he, himself, saw...and what he, himself, saw was a single s&r boat leave the area and he hoped it was a good sign. That doesn't mean he was claiming that the search was called off...or that he knew more about what search & rescue was doing than the rest of us. Just that he saw a s&r boat leave.

Do you truly not understand the difference between your post and his???

angel4dennis 3 years, 5 months ago

Prayers for this family during this terrifying and unknowing time. May God surround them with His love.

costello 3 years, 5 months ago

There's something seriously wrong with you. Seek help.

Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 5 months ago

I find it curious that one is so insistant to post on a site they claim they do not like. I guess everyone needs a hobby, but couldn't you pick on someone your own size?

Courtney87 3 years, 5 months ago

shut up there is a child's life in question here, this is not a debate!!!!!!

Courtney87 3 years, 5 months ago

While I agree that the child should have had more supervision this is not a parent bashing topic right now, atleast wait to see what the outcome of the situation is first!!! I guarantee if the parents could take back the decision to let their child go swimming they would!!!!!!! DO NOT act like you are a perfect parent, things happen!!!! All we can do is pray, not only for the child, but for the parent's as well!!!!!! When I'm done praying for them I will be sure to pray for all the ignorant souls who posted uneccessary comments!!!!

thoughtfully 3 years, 5 months ago

Blaming or criticizing the parents is not helpful, but it is OK for the community at large to talk about how tragedies like this could have been avoided, and could be avoided in the future. Stepping around that kind of discussion isn't helpful either.

The lifejacket requirement for young children sounds like a good idea and I don't know why lawmakers would have a problem with it.

I also think that people under 18 probably shouldn't be permitted to swim in public pools and lakes where there is NO LIFEGUARD on duty. If grown-ups want to take that risk, fine... But it seems like a terrible idea to take a child swimming in any environment where they could die if they got into trouble, due to being in an area where there is no lifeguard with EMT training and such nearby. If parents are not concerned about it maybe the community needs to make a rule about it to keep children from dying. In Lawrence apartments are required to have windows that only open so far in the bedroom if you're not on the ground floor - ALL of them - for child safety (even if you don't have a kid). I would think a community like this would be willing to pass some laws protecting young children from poor parental judgment about where it's safe and appropriate to take them swimming.

A lifeguard would have gotten everyone out of the water IMMEDIATELY, but I was also at the lake today on the other side of the water from the sand beach, and saw clearly that most people continued to play and swim without seeming real concerned about what was going on, so when we saw the sheriff pull up we didn't think anything REALLY bad could have happened, otherwise people wouldn't still be playing and swimming in the water. Then another sheriff car pulled up a little later, and then an ambulance, but when we left the lake around 4:30 the area was still definitely not secure and people were still in the water. If the little boy was last seen at 1:00 he could be anywhere downcurrent from that beach by now, and the idea that there was a little drowned boy right under our noses and we had no idea just makes me hate the lake the way I did when I was little - for being impossible to see through (as you can with swimming pools), so dark and murky. Anything could be down there. The idea that this time it wasn't anything but a very important someone... It really makes me feel terribly sad.

Janet FitzGerald 3 years, 5 months ago

I was there with the family. I had similar thoughts about people not getting out of the water right away. Either they didn't know, or they just thought he was missing on land and he would show up soon. It seems almost impossible that no one would have noticed him. The officer should have gotten everyone out of the water immediately. I whole-heatedly agree. He asked a teen-aged boy to dive in because he had all of his accoutrements (gun, phone, cuffs, etc.) on. But, he just walked along the dock looking around. At that point, we were all hoping the boy would walk out of the woods, or something. Time stood still because so little was happening other than the anguish and helplessness of the situation. It took precious time for the mother to get her story across to various people, and no one was equipped to respond. I'm terribly sad, too.

thoughtfully 3 years, 5 months ago

The officer could not have gotten in the water. His job in that situation would have been to secure the area, call for help, notify lake officials so they could initiate water rescue and recovery, and start interviewing everyone who had contact with the child in the event it was an abduction, which I don't think happened in a timely fashion. Since nobody saw the child go under and there's no way to be SURE that he drowned, I'm in disbelief that an Amber Alert wasn't issued and still hasn't been issued. If the child was abducted (no offense intended to the parents, but it's pretty obvious nobody was keeping an eye on him, otherwise this couldn't have happened without anyone seeing what occurred and the last eyewitness being another little boy who wouldn't have been taking a vigilant role, he was just another kid) he could be anywhere by now. And I can't believe that the scene of the disappearance wasn't locked down more quickly by law enforcement. One sheriff's car followed by one more like 15 minutes later, followed by an ambulance? That seems like someone screwed up pretty bad on putting up a solid response to a child disappearance.

Overall it just seems pretty messed up on every possible front. No part of how messed up this event is can be seen as blameless. I can understand people wanting to keep the focus on compassion and sympathy for the parents, but failing to supervise your kids in a lake environment doesn't seem so incredibly different from any other act of casual negligence, like leaving them in a locked car with the windows rolled up on a hot day because you're only going to be in the store for five minutes (or so you think). People do need to be responsible for their kids, and it's OK for a community to say that in this kind of situation, in the hopes that all the other parents out there will take it to heart instead of thinking that stuff like this would happen whether or not they're paying attention. Maybe it would, but at least it wouldn't be like "Where did he go? What happened? Who saw him last?" And then looking for him for who knows how long before finally calling the police. If you see what happened, you know what happened, and you only get that if you're actually watching.

This can go not just for parents, but for ALL adults in a lake or pool environment regardless of whether they're related to the child. If everyone around a child is vigilant about their welfare, that can only be a good thing. Some guy in Joplin saved a baby he had never seen before because he saw a piece of debris about to hit it (in a Wal-Mart) and threw himself over the baby carrier. He was aware the baby was there and because he was aware he could take action. I'm not saying everyone has to bird-dog kids that aren't theirs, that would be creepy and the unwanted attention from a stranger would be apt to bring the law down on you. Just be aware of kids in your environment and be aware of whether they're safe.

Jonathan Kealing 3 years, 5 months ago

There are very specific rules for when an Amber Alert can be issued. For example, for an Amber Alert to be issued, there must be specific information that leads law enforcement to believe that the person has been abducted, and the abduction was by a specific describable person or people. In this case, there's no information that the child was abducted, only that he went missing.

Hope that clears it up.

Caller Hunsaker 3 years, 5 months ago

By from what my daughter said, the parents first assumed that the boy had gone to play somewhere else besides where he was supposed to be (at the swim beach.) They first went around the camp area searching and asking if anyone had seen their son. As a parent I know that children will often run off with a new friend etc and not check in with his or her parents. They are too young to realize how much panic sets in or to rationalize checking in, this often continues into the teens. As teens they don't understand the worry is because we love them.

Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 5 months ago

It may be that requiring children to wear life vests at all times near all water may create a false sense of security. How do you teach your child to swim on their own if they are always equipped with a life vest? I am a former ocean life guard, and a registered nurse. So since I have these quailifications, does my son need to be required to wear an expensive, constricting life vest? I don't think so. Maybe educating parents on water-safety and providing swim lessons is a more appropriate way to address this, instead of passing more laws to punish and fine people.

thoughtfully 3 years, 5 months ago

If you were a lifeguard you know that even strong swimmers drown, and that the right place to teach someone how to swim is in a pool with a certified instructor.

You are setting yourself up for some pretty nasty karma with your general tone of arrogance and condescension.

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 5 months ago

Wow, thoughtfully, that didn't seem like a very thoughtful comment.

Chelsea was simply arguing for more water safety, not more laws. Indeed, she said "Maybe educating parents on water-safety and providing swim lessons is a more appropriate way to address this". Sure seems like a reasonable comment on her part.

And asking how kids are supposed to learn to swim when they're always required to wear life vests seems like a valid question, too. Indeed, if we follow your logic about strong swimmers drowning, perhaps we should require everyone to wear a life vest while swimming? (Wow, that would make for an interesting Olympics :-)

Many of us come from areas where there is so much water (ponds/streams/lakes/rivers/oceans) that learning to swim in a pool is not the option. Or even where the swimming instructors are.

While I'm sure it is the option in Kansas, I've never lived in a place where I've known so many people who do not know how to swim. Perhaps that pool approach of yours is what needs to be rethought?

Frankly, I wish there were a lifeguard on duty at Lone Star. I think that's far more helpful than requiring children to wear life vests when "swimming".

thoughtfully 3 years, 5 months ago

Requiring kids to wear life vests on a lake is a boat rule, and I think making it a beach rule is perfectly sensible, especially when there is no lifeguard on duty. The chelseadiane person has been making so many icky, ill-toned comments that it's honestly hard to take anything she's saying seriously.

Everyone I know, and everyone I grew up with, knew how to swim. We all started as preschoolers. As do my nieces. I don't think it's a "Kansas thing" that people don't know how to swim, I think it's an economic/class issue wrt the cost and time transporting kids to and from swim lessons. And parental arrogance. Some Midwesterners only learned to swim by getting thrown in the water, I'm sure, but there is a cultural habitus around that attitude which is far from universal.

If a child is on the water at a lake, wearing a life vest sounds reasonable. Extrapolating out that doing so would cause the retardification of the Olympics is a stupid straw-horse argument and you should be embarrassed by it.

Caller Hunsaker 3 years, 5 months ago

The law specifies Lakes and Rivers not pools, so if the Olympics ever come to Kansas they would be safe. It may even include "where no lifeguard is on duty" I come from the coast, my high School had a surf team and scuba diving offered for PE so I learned to swim at an early age but laws and regulations to protect our children must be discussed and debated or we will see more deaths like this one.

Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 5 months ago

Of course strong swimmers drown. But I feel, that for my child, the place for him to learn to swim is with me. I learned to swim under my father's eye. I never meant to be condescending or arrogant, by any means, and I apologize if my words were taken that way. I just think that more legislation is not always the right answer. Maybe education is an alternative to explore? I am just stating my opinion.

Caller Hunsaker 3 years, 5 months ago

OK Lets Educate parents on water safety. How, Mandatory classes? Lets provide swim lessons OK at who's expense? Lets say they are free. How do you insure the parents actually take their kids? Do they then have to carry a card stateing they are good swimmers in order to get in the water? Each beach would have to have someone there to check and make sure. Then what if they are in the water and can not prove they have had the Water Safety class and swim lessons? Do we fine them? So in your opinion requiring a small child to wear a life vest while around our public lakes is a punishment? The outcome of this tragedy is a punishment to both the small boy who lost his life and to his parents who now must live without him, now consider the alternative if he would have been wearing a restrictive vest. Ask yourself as a nurse and ask your fellow nurses how many excellent swimmers drown each year. You should know that from being a lifeguard. Not all vests are expensive and constricting girl. When your son learns to drive I am sure he will be an excellent driver so should he not be required to wear a seat belt? Seatbelts are so restrictive and uncomfortable. Girl, listen to yourself.

Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 5 months ago

We prefer to be called women now. "Girl" is condescending. Thanks.

Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 5 months ago

I did not mean that wearing a life vest in itself is a punishment, but if it were a law, then there would have to be a punishment if it were not abided by, right?

Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 5 months ago

I was just trying to open a discusion on this idea of mandatory life vests. I never meant to imply my ideas were the best for everyone. They are my ideas, that's all. I am open to other thoughtful discussions. Thanks.

roosmom 3 years, 5 months ago

This is a sad, sad situation and no person, NONE should throw salt in the wounds of another. The fact is it only takes 20-60 seconds for someone to go under water. That could simply be turning toward you other child for moments. I've done it!! I will be thinking about this family, this child. I hope they have good news tomorrow.

Janet FitzGerald 3 years, 5 months ago

I was someone who was there, and I was with the mother, her other son, her daughter, and the father. There were lots of people there swimming by the "beach", and it's virtually unimaginable that he could have disappeared. I'm leaving out details out of respect for the family. They are in total shock and my heart is heavy with sadness for them. Please understand that this really could have happened to anyone. People who are drowning do not thrash about or make any noise.

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 5 months ago

I take folks to camp overnight at Lone Star annually and trying to keep my eye on them at the swimming beach is taxing...and they're adults!

Frankly, this poor kid would have been far more likely to be noticed as missing if there were not so many people there. I think people often make the mistake of thinking that "there were so many people there - someone should have noticed" - when the fact that there are so many people there makes it less likely that anyone would notice one missing kid or one kid flapping his arms around.

Janet FitzGerald 3 years, 5 months ago

One more thing. I don't know what time it was, but when I found out that he was missing, the mother said he had been missing for twenty minutes. An officer appeared on the scene about 5-10 minutes after that. So, the response wasn't two hours later, but much sooner. I was disappointed that people weren't diving and scouring the area where it wasn't deep. The family was utterly helpless, in shock, and answering questions from the officer. The mother asked him to send in people to dive after him, and the officer responded by saying he had to get permission from his supervisor. I suggested that the father go in to search. He said, "But, I don't know where to start." I said, "Try a grid." At that point, he did go and dive into the water searching for him to no avail. It was awful... The older sister was devastated and in disbelief repeating, "He was just here. He was just here." My heart goes out to her and her family.

I had to ask myself why the officers/EMT weren't calling in divers right away. All I can think is that divers don't rescue, but retrieve. Does anyone know what the protocol is in a situation like this?

thoughtfully 3 years, 5 months ago

20 minutes elapsed means a rescue would have been out of the question. Even five would have been pushing it as far as brain damage.

In a town like Lawrence, it's pretty inconceivable that there would be a dive team just waiting to go at the police station. Licensed and trained recovery divers would have to be called (and on a holiday weekend, likely that you'd end up leaving messages for a lot of people who were on the road) in. So take hypothetical Jan Diver - she's at a family picnic somewhere 30-45 minutes away from Lone Star - in Lawrence or Kansas City or Topeka. She is going to have to drive from her holiday event to get to her dive rig, check her equipment, drive to Lone Star, wait for other team members to show up, wait for a topographical map of the lake to be brought out, and for a recovery strategy determined. Then she can dive. If the call for a dive team went out at 4:15 (and I am pretty darn sure it was later than that based on watching the lack of urgency around the situation from the sheriffs), having them start their dive two hours later sounds like a pretty good turnaround to me. For the dive crew, at least. I don't have much praise for the sheriffs in this situation. They sure seemed to spend a lot of time not doing anything at all to get that scene controlled.

Alabamastreet 3 years, 5 months ago

Very reasonable response. After 20 minutes it isn't really a rescue operation in water. Only a rescue situation on land.

KSChick1 3 years, 5 months ago

it can happen so fast...I had a friend named Dallas that drowned almost 25 years ago...he was 17 and raced across a pond with another friend of ours...family on the bank including his pregnant girlfriend...they made it across the pond once and swam back across and all of a sudden Dallas just wasn't there...he went under so fast it was horrible...2 hours later when search and rescue recovered him he was found in 14 feet of water...he could swim...he was pretty much full-grown...nothing happened but they theorized he swallowed some water and panicked and went under...and pond water is hard to see in so he went down and nobody could find him...it was a terrible terrible thing and it happened in seconds...Dallas has been on my mind tonight after hearing about what is going on at Lone Star...I am really sorry for the family there today...it's just me but I'll tell you what...I used to swim in ponds and lakes when i was younger but since Dallas drowned all those years ago...I have never swam in anything other than a pool since then...if I can't see in it...I don't swim in in...

thoughtfully 3 years, 5 months ago

People can and do drown in pools - the pool in that story was obviously swampy and gross by all accounts and had no business being open, so it doesn't exactly prove a meaningful point about pools in general being places where bodies can go missing for two days.

I'm still feeling very much like I'd rather be in a crystal-clear pool than a lake right now. I'm not sure I'll be going back this summer. It's all just too upsetting and I'm genuinely concerned/scared about how ineffective the sheriffs out there were.

KSChick1 3 years, 5 months ago

fortunately I can swim and like I said, I do not swim in water I can't see in whether it's a pool or whatever. that's my choice. traumatized by what happened to my friend all those years ago and if I went to a pool and couldn't see the drain cover in the bottom, I won't be swimming in it.

thoughtfully 3 years, 5 months ago

Bobcats and mountain lions aren't typical aquatic threats. As far as I know, neither animal will swim, much less swim to get to prey, much less go unnoticed in a busy beach.

I do think they should have issued an Amber Alert since nobody saw him go under and it's not certain that he drowned (at least based on the information the public has been given).

But no, I don't think he managed to get himself somewhere that he could be eaten by a wild animal. There are bobcats and mountain lions here, but this is definitely not a situation where people need to start speculating that dingoes ate the baby.

costello 3 years, 5 months ago

I too had trouble sleeping. I live near the lake and that little boy and his family were the last thing I thought about before I fell asleep in the wee hours and the first thing I thought about when I woke. Uneasy dreams all night.

It's rainy this morning.

Caller Hunsaker 3 years, 5 months ago

Unfortunatly there are regulations for Amber Alerts: Summary of Department of Justice Recommended Criteria •There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that an abduction has occurred. •The law enforcement agency believes that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death. •There is enough descriptive information about the victim and the abduction for law enforcement to issue an AMBER Alert to assist in the recovery of the child. •The abduction is of a child aged 17 years or younger. •The child’s name and other critical data elements, including the Child Abduction flag, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system.

That shared, Authorities are not certain an abduction has occured. They still need to check the lake. Because of the large number of missing children reported every day, it is dufficult to have these alerts actually issued, thats why the guidelines were created. Kids go missing everyday and that is why you do not hear these alerts everyday.

Angie Dick 3 years, 5 months ago

Let's hope this lil boy is found and safe, unharmed. I send my heart out to his family.

countrygal07 3 years, 5 months ago

Some of your comments are really uncalled for. As a parent i could only imagine what this family is going thru. Yes, I agree the child should have been better supervised however, I dont think this is the time or place to say negative things about the parents. I could only imagine being the parents. Sleepless nights, the tears, and the heartache of not knowing where their child is. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. I also hope the child is found safe and unharmed.

countrygal 3 years, 5 months ago

ABC Channel 9 out of KC just reported the search and resque stopped as a small body was found. They will have more of an update as a formal announcement by the sheriff office has not been made, but they are under assumption it was the little boy that was missing. Soo sad.

countrygal 3 years, 5 months ago

Channel 9 just made the announcement it was the little boy's body that was found. Douglas County Sheriffs office made it official. Our prayers to the family.

HRCJJ 3 years, 5 months ago

Sad beyond words. I was really hoping this young man had wandered off and would be okay. I will be holding my three boys much closer today and this family will be in my thoughts.

xclusive85 3 years, 5 months ago

Does anyone know about any search on land? I know lots of people are down there, but with the heat and humidity yesterday, he might not be able to find his way out of the woods if he went in. He might not have been in any condition to respond to calls for him. What are the efforts there?

Dixie Jones 3 years, 5 months ago

xclusive im sorry maybe your page hasnt updated , they found the body this morning

xclusive85 3 years, 5 months ago

ya, i read through the comments and then posted without updating the page. So sorry for the family.

Dixie Jones 3 years, 5 months ago

God Bless this family ,the friends,and the many people who assisted in searching for this child.. Please posters be kind, think if the shoe was on the other foot how would you feel..

Angela Heili 3 years, 5 months ago

How awful for this family. I have a 7 year old myself and to think that she could be gone in a second is just a thought I don't want to ponder. I always put her in a life jacket when she goes swimming. She pitches a fit and complains and gets mad at me, but I would much rather her be mad at me and pitch a fit than lose her. This situation makes me want to hug her and all my other children that much tighter. May God ease this family's pain.

kantubek 3 years, 5 months ago

Very sad indeed. Condolences to the family, this is the kind of tragedy that never goes away.

bornon7 3 years, 5 months ago

Some of you need to grow up! Would you speak like this to each other if you weren't hiding behind a computer screen? If you wouldn't say it to a person's face, why say it at all? Filter.

LadyJ 3 years, 5 months ago

Heartbreaking, Kantubek is right, it will never go away for his family. The loss of a child, no matter the age, is something you never get over.

Bob Forer 3 years, 5 months ago

In my humble opinion the censorship of posts which suggest the parents were negligent in allowing a seven year old boy who couldn't swim to venture into the dark waters and slippery and uneven bottom of Lone Star Lake without any adult supervision, is a bit over the top. After all, this is a newspaper, one of the pinnacles of First Amendment freedoms.

I understand the logic, i.e., that family members or close friend will read a less than glowing comments about their parenting skills which will unnecessarily add to their grief. First of all, I doubt that any of those people will read an on-line newspaper account of the nightmare that unfolded in front of their eyes. Secondly, I am sure they are already blaming themselves for this tragedy.

Thirdly, It doesn't get any worse in life than losing a child. The parents are already experiencing profound grief. Even if they read these comments--both comforting and critical--which is rather improbable, the opinion of a stranger will neither detract from or aggravate the profound grief they are already feeling.

If decency were the hallmark of this newspaper, Tom Keegan's recent column on Brock Berglund would have never been published. I can guarantee you that those comments will find their way back to that young man.

The problem with censorship is that the results are fortuitously incalculable, depending of the personal proclivities of the individual censor. Other than prohibiting libel, I know of no standards of censorship capable of fair and balanced application.

costello 3 years, 5 months ago

I'd never even heard of Brock Berglund or Tom Keegan before this post. Apparently we're talking about a sports writer and an athlete? Did the sports writer say something critical about the athlete? Are you honestly saying you can't see the difference between that and the criticism of the parenting skills of people whose son is missing and likely drowned - while the freakin' search is still going on? Really?

What is wrong with some people?

This isn't a First Amendment issue, btw. The government isn't restricting anyone's free speech here. This is simply a case of a newspaper refusing to host nasty, unnecessary, and hurtful messages. I'm tired of people crying "free speech" to justify reducing the commons to a Jerry Springer-esque slugfest. I'm grateful the Journal World pulled those messages.

And your reasoning that they're already in pain and blaming themselves, so everyone should feel free to pile on? I'm speechless.

Bob Forer 3 years, 5 months ago

Obviously, you are unable to see the hypocrisy of a newspaper, whose very existence is dependent on the First Amendment, censoring the opinions of others. True, the First Amendment is not implicated in non-govermental censorship, but that fact does nothing to alter the hypocrisy of the paper's duplicity.

"I'd never even heard of Brock Berglund or Tom Keegan before this post." Funny, but if you never heard of either person, how were you able to draw the inference that it was related to sports? There is nothing in my comments to suggest the subject matter of the column. If you wish your opinions to be taken seriously, you might try a little intellectual honesty.

Bob Forer 3 years, 5 months ago

Costello, you might want to invest in a pair of suspenders so you aren't caught with your pants down again. You claim to have never heard of Tom Keegan nor Brock Berglund before reading my comments, yet you posted the following message on these LJW posts nearly two years ago:

"What a joke this is. But, with Lew in charge it should be expected. Not the same KU I got my degrees from." http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/nov/13/no-charges-will-be-filed-against-ku-football-or-ba/#c1048695

I can't argue the fact that you may have never heard of Brock Berglund, as he is a relative newcomer to the Lawrence scene.

But to be versed enough in KU athletics to refer to its former athletic director as "Lew," and claim that you have never heard of Tom Keegan, who has served as the LJW Sports Editor for several years..... well, I gotta call you out on that tall tale.

P.S. two posts later you refer to yourself as a KU sports fan.
I won't search any further for more contradictory statements, as there are more than 500 of your posts to view. Suffice to say, . you've been compromised.

Bob Forer 3 years, 5 months ago

Once again the LJW has displayed some unmitigated hypocrisy. They censor comments on the ruse of protecting the family yet they publish a photograph of rescue workers consoling the grieving parents. The photo is from a distance, but you can certainly tell that they are African American.

What is the inference the editor seeks to draw from exploiting the family's grief? "Relax folks, they're not one of us?"

been_there 3 years, 5 months ago

Are you sure they're African American? Now that they have released the names, I wouldn't be too sure.

thoughtfully 3 years, 5 months ago

Actually, the last name is pretty clearly African. The father is from Kenya and the mother afaik is from KCMO, and they are indeed both black, not that it makes a bit of difference.

JustMe360 3 years, 5 months ago

They are not African American, but glad you can feel so comfortable judging from a picture that makes it hard to tell. Why does their ethnicity matter, anyway?

Bob Forer 3 years, 5 months ago

Precisely my point. The picture is at such a distance that the only thing noticable is that they are non-white, which is irrelevant. And to use a zoom lens to show facial features would have been exploiting the family's grief. A pointless picture, excpet, perhaps in the eyes of the editor, to let us know the family are people of color.

JustMe360 3 years, 5 months ago

When I first came across this page, there was a video at the top, rather than a picture. I do not know, and will not pretend to know the motives of the publisher or photographer, but based on the still image you have described, I don't see anything that sets it apart from a million other "vague" images attached to stories of people of all ethnic backgrounds. With no disrespect to your opinion, I don't agree with the point you are trying to make.

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 5 months ago

i wish comments were not even allowed on some articles. my heart goes out to the family of this little boy and a huge thank you to those who conducted the search.

grammaddy 3 years, 5 months ago

My condolences to the family and friends of this little boy. I'll be holding and hugging the grands even tighter today.

Caller Hunsaker 3 years, 5 months ago

Here are links to the User Policies for posting. Please read them and show me where is says "Rumors or speculation will not be tolerated".

http://www2.ljworld.com/site/rules/

http://www2.ljworld.com/site/rules/full/

I requested that Jonathan show me as the quotation above was his explanation for my comments being censored. he says that is in the User Policy but I do not see it there. He says: "• To engage other users in a respectful discussion. Disagreements of opinion are to be expected, but disagreements should be handled respectfully and should never devolve into endless fighting and bickering.

Your comments are disrespectful."

All I did was quote what my daughter had reported to me. (information) There was no disrespect. These were not comments as there was no commentary, I gave no personal opinion or blame. Jonathan simply did not like what I reported and so he did not wish anyone else to read it so he used his powers at LJW to delete and censor a set of facts as told to me. The LJW had a disagreement with my posting and did not "handle it respectfully".

hip_gma 3 years, 5 months ago

Others above share the same compassion as I do. I do want to point out the date under the video shows June 2 where it should say July 2. I only point this out in case later on people try to find the video and maybe the incorrect month may cause problems. I am not an insensitive person by only pointing out the incorrect date. I actually had a nephew drown a few years ago and I know how devistating it can be to hear the news.

I_Bejewel 3 years, 5 months ago

It's really hard for me to read this story. Harder yet to read the comments. I almost drowned in the Missouri River when I was a child. Lucky someone saw me go in or I might not be here typing this now. I have 3 boys. Two of them can swim. My 6-yr-old is getting better but not quite there yet. He has a life-vest when he's in a lake, floaties in the pool. If we're boating, they all wear life vests. This is my worst nightmare and I'm fighting back tears right now. Not sitting in judgement on anymone, but I hope at the very least this story will remind us all how fast things like this can happen. Please be safe everyone! And God Bless This Poor Family!

ferrislives 3 years, 5 months ago

My hear breaks for this family. I'm so sorry for your loss. There's no one to blame; accidents happen. It's just so unfortunate that it happened to such a young soul; it's truly any parent's worst nightmare. May he rest in peace. Your family will definitely be in my prayers.

mfarmer1026 3 years, 5 months ago

To one of the ladies that said there should be a lifegaurd at the lake... It's a lake, there are no lifegaurds. That is why it's clearly stated on signs everywhere.. "Swim at your own risk. No lifegaurd on duty!!"

Janet FitzGerald 3 years, 5 months ago

This family is still in the forefront of my thoughts. I want to add that I think more sand should be added to the enclosed area. It drops off in the corners. I believe the boy thought he was fine in 3-4 feet of water, then unexpectedly found himself under water. Rest in peace, Osiris. I know his family and friends are aching for him.

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