WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Searchers continued to look for a missing 11-year-old boy Saturday who fell into Gypsum Creek in south Wichita on Friday.
Wichita fire rescue crews were dispatched to the 2800 block of S. Hillside about 7:30 p.m. after a report the youth had fallen into a “drainage ditch” near Jardine Middle School.
Fire officials said the boy was playing with some friends near Gypsum Creek when he fell into the water and was swept away.
Wichita Fire Department Battalion Chief John Turner said on Friday the call to 911 came from the Lord’s Diner on South Hillside.
“Three friends reported they had tried to cross the creek near Planeview Park and one of the friends fell into the water,” Turner said.
The victim was wearing blue jeans and no shirt when he entered the water.
KSN is not releasing the name of the child at the family’s request.
On Saturday, Battalion Chief Scott Brown said water levels in the creek had dropped about seven feet since Friday night. Searchers continue to search Gypsum Creek and downstream in and around the Arkansas River using boats and Kansas Highway Patrol aircraft.
Brown said search dogs also have been brought in to try to locate the boy.
Family members were on the scene Saturday to assist searchers. Brown said they brought with them three friends who were with the 11-year-old to show rescuers where the child entered the water.
Other searchers included Wichita Police officers, Sedgwick County Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters from Derby.
“We have several companies out from the fire department all the way to Derby,” Turner said Friday night. He said all the bridges between the site where the boy went missing and Derby were staffed with searchers.
Turner said fast-moving water makes for dangerous conditions.
“… a pace of eight miles an hour can knock someone over, and once that happens it could be difficult to get up, depending on what’s below the water.”
Brown said Saturday his crews will continue searching for the boy as long as necessary.