Family sleeps overnight at park waiting for Columbus 6-year-old to be found

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COLUMBUS, Ind. — The family of a 6-year-old Columbus boy who was swept away by a strong current, is waiting on the scene until searchers find the boy.

Brendan Sperry was last seen playing on a sandbar in the river at Mill Race Park on Thursday afternoon. He was swept away by a current and hasn’t been found.

The boy’s family spent the night in the park and haven’t left the site.  Family members said both they and rescue crews are exhausted.

“Until this whole things resolved, we have hope, but we also being realistic,” said Jim Humphrey, Brendan’s grandfather.

The efforts to find Brendan have been challenging. Crews from departments across central Indiana have been searching a two mile span on the White River. The heavy rains have made the water shift, murky, and muddy.

On Friday, they were focusing their efforts on the area near the sandbar where Brendan went under the water. Boats, K9s, and divers spent the day searching on top and under the water.

“From our experiences on these types of scenes, when there’s a possible downing victim, that victim is usually going to be located closer to where they were last seen than farther down river,” said Indiana Conservation Cpl. Jet Quillen.

Brendan and his family are new to the Columbus area. The boys grandfather said he loved football and was “a good kid.”

Family members said they don’t plan to leave the scene until Brendan is found. They slept overnight at the park on Thursday night.

“They didn’t want him to be alone out here, my grandson. They wanted someone to be here until they find him,” Humphrey said.

The park is currently closed to the public. DNR officials asked for members of the public to stay away from the area and to not try to start their own search.

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