Officials pull child's body from North Platte

2014-08-15T07:30:00Z 2014-08-27T06:44:03Z Officials pull child's body from North PlatteBy LILLIAN SHROCK Casper Star-Tribune The Billings Gazette
August 15, 2014 7:30 am  • 

CASPER, Wyo. — Officials found the body of 11-year-old Alex Cressy about 5:45 p.m. Thursday, three full days after the child was swept into the North Platte River.

Casper Fire-EMS rescuers were downstream when they received a call at 5 p.m. that the boy’s body had been spotted at the Tate Pumphouse, said Jason Parks, spokesman for the fire department. Parks said he wasn’t sure whether a bystander or a law enforcement official first spotted Cressy.

Two rescuers loaded a banana boat and searched the area for 30 minutes before finding Cressy about 150 yards downstream from the footbridge.

Rescuers found Cressy in a northern eddy, a backing current of the river off the main stream, when he surfaced, Parks said.

The Pumphouse was barricaded by police Thursday afternoon, and the area was considered a crime scene. The Natrona County coroner was also there.

“I just hope there’s relief for the mom and dad and for the whole community,” said Casper Fire Chief Ken King.

Cressy was playing in the river at the Pumphouse on Monday afternoon with an 8-year-old friend when the two were swept into the current.

Cressy disappeared after trying to help the younger boy, Reyes, a Casper Fire-EMS spokesman said. A worker at a rafting company pulled the younger boy from the river after spotting him in a shallow area downstream. The boy was treated at a hospital and is doing well.

“He did save the little boy’s life,” Cressy’s 14-year-old sister, Makaila, said Tuesday. “In a way, he did take his own life for the little boy.”

Parks said rescuers were in the river within seven minutes of the original phone call Monday afternoon. Natrona County sheriff’s deputies, Casper Fire-EMS and volunteers searched the water for Cressy since then, using swimmers, a sonar boat and an underwater camera.

Efforts were focused on the area of the river at the Pumphouse for the first two days. Wednesday, searchers began looking downstream, from First and Poplar streets to Bryan Stock Trail. Crews took four trips Thursday, two on each side of the bank, using 10-foot poles to search holes in the riverbed.

“He did save the little boy’s life,” Cressy’s 14-year-old sister, Makaila, said Tuesday. “In a way, he did take his own life for the little boy.”

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