Society

Two Dead, One Missing After Child Falls In River

| by Michael Howard

Two adults are dead after trying to save a 4-year-old girl who had fallen into the Provo River in Utah and is still missing.

London DeDios, 4, fell into the water around 2:40 p.m. on May 29, according to Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon. Six adults reportedly jumped in after her in an attempt to save her life.

One of those adults was London's mother, 34-year-old Brenda DeDios, who died after being pulled from the river and rushed to the hospital, KUTV reports. Also killed in the rescue effort was Sean Thayne, 30, a bystander who did not know the family.

"Sean did not know Brenda or London, but was in the area and, along with at least four other adults who also did not know Brenda or London, jumped in the river to try to save her," the Utah County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

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Cannon indicated that London and Brenda had been standing on some rocks near a bridge when the young girl fell in. She was last seen about 150 yards downstream from the bridge, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

"Just looking at the river here, it scares the daylights out of me just thinking of being in it," Cannon said.

The search for London extended into the night and included around 150 people, as well as a helicopter and an airplane. Officials are hoping that London may have been caught up in the trees and brush that grow over the sides of the river, although they acknowledge that the chances of finding her alive are slim.

The full-scale search effort was called off around 9 p.m., while a few people continued working overnight. The sheriff's office announced that the search teams would begin their efforts again in the morning.

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Meanwhile, Cannon warned parents about the danger of letting their children too close to the water, which is ice-like this time of year.

"This river is cold in August when it's boiling outside," he said. "It's even colder now, with snowmelt coming off the mountains. Parents need to be so, so vigilant in situations like this. Hang on to your kids for dear life."

"It takes two seconds, literally, for a child to jump away from a parent and stumble and fall into the water," Cannon added, according to KSL. "Don’t think that you’re safe standing on the shore without a life jacket, especially a child."

Sources: KUTV, The Salt Lake Tribune, KSL / Photo credit: Ken Lund/Flickr

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