CASPER, Wyo. — A portrait of Alex Cressy sits on the bank of the North Platte River where the 11-year-old boy went missing Monday afternoon.
"He has that tough attitude," said the boy's 14-year-old sister, Makaila Cressy. "He's built macho. He's a survivor."
In the river beyond that photo, a dozen firefighters and sheriff's deputies continue to search for Cressy.
"Sunup to sundown, we'll always be searching," said Casper Fire Chief Ken King.
Cressy was playing in the river near the Tate Pumphouse, 1775 West First St., Tuesday afternoon. Makaila said she was babysitting her brother and his 8-year-old friend, Reyes, while they got into the water to cool off. The boys were originally reported to be brothers, but Makaila said they're friends.
Cressy went missing after trying to help the younger boy, a Casper Fire-EMS spokesman said.
"He did save the little boy's life," Makaila said. "In a way, he did take his own life for the little boy."
A worker at a rafting company pulled the younger boy from the river after spotting him in a shallow area downstream. King said the boy was treated at a hospital. He has since been released and is doing well.
The search for Cressy resumed at 8:30 this morning, said Jason Parks, spokesperson for the fire department. The sheriff's office is using an air boat with side sonar to scan the river bank for Cressy. The boat will search between Parkway Plaza and Brian Stock Trail today, Parks said. The fire department has swimmers searching in the river at the Pumphouse.
"I told the family we would be there until Alex is found," King said.
The fire department and sheriff's office are also conducting jug tests to figure out where the river current is traveling. They're using plastic poles filled with a material to make them sink to the bottom of the river. Then the poles are being tracked to see where the current drifts to get a better idea of where Cressy might be located.
Cressy recently completed the fifth grade at Willard Elementary School and planned to start junior high at CY Middle School, King said.
"He's a bright young man," Makaila said. "He's more mature than any 11-year-old you'll meet."