Missing 4-year-old drowns in Spokane River

A 4-year-old boy reported missing while playing with his family near the Downriver Disc Golf Course along the Spokane River has died.

Spokane Fire Chief, Brian Schaeffer, said the boy’s parents called 911 around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The parents told first responders they were playing along the river, turned their backs for a second and their son went missing.

Spokane Fire Department and police department quickly responded and searched for the boy on the ground and from the air.

An hour after he went missing, rescue crews found him in the Spokane River and pulled him to shore.

“All parents have had this happen, whether you are in a department store or out at a park or even in school and you turn your head for a second and they are gone,” said Brian Schaeffer, Spokane Fire Chief.

“When you are next to the river or in the outdoors, you really have to have a heightened sense of awareness for this river because things do happen very fast and especially for a four year old they don’t have the capability to respond like an adult would,” said Schaeffer.

In a Tweet, Schaeffer said first responders were heroic and did everything humanly possible to save the boy. Schaeffer said his thoughts and prayers are with the family.