SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah, June 21, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Emergency crews from multiple safety and police agencies were sent home Wednesday night after an intensive 2.5 hour search failed to turn up evidence of a reported body in the Jordan River in South Salt Lake.
The body was reported by a single witness, a man driving in his truck on 3900 South, who was certain he saw the body of a blond male toddler, age 1 or 2, wearing red shorts, in the water.
“As soon as the first couple first responders got here, they were swift water rescue experts, and were able to get in the water,” said Lt. Brian Lohrke, Unified Police Department, while the search was in progress at 9:30 p.m. Crews responded to an 8 p.m. call to dispatch, and wrapped up the operation at 10:30 p.m.
“We only have one witness to this child being in the water, no incidents of children being missing in the area. Of course, we’re still working on that right now, and working in the water, trying to find what this witness thought he saw,” Lohrke said.
“We are hoping it’s something else, some type of doll. It seems like when he looked over, it caught his attention so much, he was quite sure of what he saw, so we pulled out everything, all our resources, right away.”
Lohrke said the river is close to multiple apartment buildings, so the scenario of a child wandering off and falling in the river is possible.
The search included officers “on bikes, with dogs, on foot, in the water, and watching from bridges, Lohrke said. Pipes were set up to catch debris at points as far away as 2100 South, 15 blocks north of the location of the reported siting.
“We feel that we’ve combed the area pretty good from a reasonable area that we thought we should be searching,” Lohrke said at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. “We’ve had multiple teams in the water now for a couple hours, and searching different blocks.”
Helicopters planned to stay “a while longer,” and continue the search, just in case, Lohrke said.
Gephardt Daily will update this story as information becomes available.