DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The 13-year-old boy who drowned in the Great Miami River Sunday evening has been identified.
The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office has identified the boy as DeAngelo Casey of Dayton.
Divers pulled the boy’s body from the Great Miami River after a two-hour search.
According to District Chief Brad Baldwin of the Dayton Fire Department, crews were called to Island MetroPark around 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Firefighters and crews from the Box 21 Rescue Squad used boats in their initial search but couldn’t find the boy, Baldwin said.
Divers from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base found the boy’s body about two hours later, Baldwin said.
“We had three search boats and was never able to locate him,” District Chief Baldwin said. “And we called for a dive team.”
Casey was at the park with two of his friends when he walked into the river near the pedestrian bridge, went underwater and never resurfaced, Baldwin said. It’s not clear if any adults were around at the time of the incident or if the boy could swim, he added.
The park does not allow swimming in the river, Baldwin said.
“You could wade along shore if you were fishing, but there’s no swimming from the bridge or swimming from the shore because it is pretty steep once you get off the bank,” District Chief Baldwin explained. “It drops off pretty quick.”
The river appeared to be at about normal levels with very little current, Baldwin said.
Friends of Casey’s family who spoke 2 NEWS off-camera said they believe a fence should be put up to prevent anyone from wandering into the river.
Rivers are not safe for swimming, Baldwin said.
“Things can go wrong very quickly,” Baldwin said. “And there’s no backup system. There’s nobody there to rescue or help them. So that’s when things go very bad.”
The coroner’s office is involved with the investigation, Baldwin said, but the incident appears to have been an accident.