OGDEN — After several hours of searching Saturday, rescuers were unable to find a 3-year-old Layton boy in the Weber River and plan to return at first light today.
The initial call went out around 5 p.m. Saturday to send search teams to 300 W. 24th St.
The boy’s family was taking family portraits near 300 W. Exchange Road in Ogden when the boy accidentally fell into the east side of the river about 5:45 p.m., said Weber County Sheriff's Lt. Mark Lowther. The father jumped into the chilly waters to try to find the boy, but to no avail.
Lowther did not identify the family.
Ogden firefighters and police were on scene quickly, and a police officer also jumped in to try to find the boy but was unsuccessful. At that location, the river can be so deep that the officer was submerged, Lowther said. The strong current creates eddies that also threaten the people who get into the water to search.
As searchers took to a kayak and combed the immediate area of where the toddler fell in, others positioned themselves at points within a mile downstream to keep their eyes peeled for any sign of him. Law enforcement in a Department of Public Safety helicopter arrived from Salt Lake City and scanned the river as well.
Divers soon joined the search, but by dark had to call it off for the night.
Altogether, more than 50 people were looking for the young boy, including those from DPS, Riverdale, Ogden, the Weber County Sheriff’s Office and swift water and diving rescue crews.
Lowther said officials might try to lower the river by morning to make the search easier.
The family stayed at the river to watch the rescuers try to find him, and were joined throughout the evening by their relatives.
Passersby also stopped to watch the rescue attempts from bridges and the riverside.
Christelle Micony, who works at an automotive shop a little west from the location, watched from the west side of the river.
She said she had a close call with the river herself just last summer. She fell in and got caught in an undercurrent that kept her down until her stepdaughter pulled her out.
Micony joined hands with several bicyclists by the river to pray for the family, acknowledging that there probably wasn’t much that could be done for the boy by that point.