Crews resume search for teen’s body in James River

Posted at 2:21 PM, Jun 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-26 14:39:32-04

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) -- The rescue efforts have officially turned into a recovery after the search for a missing teen was suspended Tuesday evening.

After working past sundown yesterday, recovery crews were back to work shortly after sunrise Wednesday.  They were looking for the body of a male between the ages of 15 and 18, last seen on the James.

"He and one other individual had swam out and got caught in some currents or some hydraulics, and of course we were called for some assistance," Richmond Fire Lt. Robbie Hagaman said.

Crews searched by air, underwater with sonar equipment and with the help of a specially trained dog-capable of detecting a person's scent below the water's surface.  Every possible resource was utilized after the teen's body was spotted Tuesday evening.

"He was actually seen by some bystanders and water rescue individuals just west of the Mayo Bridge or Hull Street Bridge," Hagaman said.

But the fast-moving currents may be to blame for moving his body further away from where he was last seen.

"It can push any object downstream, so we have to factor that in," Hagaman said.

Despite the intense heat and unpredictability of the James, crew members are determined to find and recover the missing teen.

"We want to help bring closure to this, hoping for the best but potentially just finding something to bring to the family," Hagaman said.

Authorities said this is the first Richmond river death of the year.  The recovery crews are expected to continue looking for the missing teen throughout the day.