Divers suspend search for boy in Chicago River

May 16, 2010 9:15:44 PM PDT
Divers searched the Chicago River Sunday night for a missing boy.The effort was launched more than three hours ago near Foster and Pulaski. The boy apparently fell in the water in Eugene Field Park.

The search for the 8-year-old boy turned into a recovery effort late Sunday. Dive teams were pulled from the water for the night, although they were expected to return in the morning.

Before the fire department arrived at approximately 6 p.m., there were two attempts to try to rescue the boy, including from his own father. However, the current was too strong.

Loved ones watched with anguish as the dive teams spent hours looking for Cashmere Castillo in the north branch of the Chicago River.

The 8-year-old had spent the afternoon at Albany Park Eugene Field. His older brother, Christian, said while he was playing basketball, Cashmere was playing tag with his friends.

"We saw them by the river acting suspicious. I said, 'Why are they over there?' So, I just shot playing basketball, and then, I heard people just watching him saying, 'Hey, your brother is drowning.' And then I jumped. I dropped the ball, ran after him. I jumped. I had a split second to either jump in with him or just stay back," said Christian Castillo.

Christian Castillo says he yelled for help. A local resident came to the rescue.

"He was just walking with his family, and then I just told them, 'Can you please help me?' He jumped in. He took off his jacket and came swimming after him," said Christian Castillo.

The young man also said his father ran from home in his bare feet and also jumped in but didn't have any luck.

"He jumped in for two seconds, but then I saw him coming back because the water was cold," said Castillo.

Approximately two hours into the search, dive teams were pulled because the current was too strong and the visibility was zero.

So, with the help of citizens, the fire department and the police department continued their search along the shoreline.

"We used a boat. We walked the shoreline. We did a thorough search of the area. At this time, we have not turned anything up," said Cmdr. Ron Dornecker of the Chicago Fire Department.

ABC7 Chicago is told Cashmere Castillo is in the second grade and is known for being mischievous. He also likes playing the guitar.

Members of the 8-year-old's family remained on the scene for several hours, including his parents. Brother Christian Castillo also stayed.

The Chicago Police Department reports officers will search along the river overnight.

The dive teams are expected to return Monday morning.


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