Monday, December 22, 2014

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Black River search continues, man's body still missing

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Black River search continues, man's body still missing
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There is still no sign of the man who authorities say drowned in the Black River over the weekend. He had jumped in to try and save a five-year-old boy who fell in while they were fishing. Sadly, the boy drowned. Our Brian Dwyer has an update on search efforts.

GLEN PARK, N.Y. -- Crews in Jefferson County have called off any extensive searches for the Watertown man who drowned in the Black River this weekend.

Police say Edward Whitfield III, 47, was fishing with five-year-old family friend Zachary Finley when the young boy fell in the water. Whitfield went in after him, but was unable to reach the boy. Finley's body was found that night.

Crews will now conduct periodic shore searches for Whitfield's body. They say the water is just too dangerous to continue extensive searches. They believe the dam in Glen Park should be enough to keep his body within a couple miles from where they went into the water.

Crews hope to have closure within a couple of weeks.

"It's gonna be more of a shoreline appearance at this point, unless we see something concrete. Cause again, this is high water. The Black River is not a recreational dive spot whatsoever. We only go in unless we really feel a...justification to do it," said Mark Knowles, Jefferson County Star Dive Commander.

Crews were out at the Black River Monday morning, doing what appeared to be one of those periodic searches. Officials ask that anyone with any information call them at (315) 782-2233

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