Searchers: signs missing boy fell into creek

FRESNO, Calif.

The boy's family came all the way from New Jersey for the scenery at the park.

The victim's father was still there Saturday watching a search that's now in its 25th hour.

The whitewater rapids of ten mile creek are a big draw for hundreds of tourists to Kings Canyon National Park every day.

But accessing the water is dangerous, and for a family from New Jersey, the trip took a tragic turn.

This is the path the family took. It's steep - 50 feet, almost straight down - and it leads to a bunch of rocks.

When they got to those rocks, the father helped his son down, turned around to help someone else, and when he turned back around, his son was gone.

"A lot of the scenery is beautiful, Mother Nature's beautiful. It's great to look at, but people have a tendency to get too close or go beyond their means or their expertise, they'll get themselves in trouble," Lt. Robert Salazar said.

The Fresno County Sheriff's helicopter came down to eye level to get a look inside the canyon.

Search teams also climbed down the dangerous paths to search the shores of the creek.

After several hours, they turned up some evidence downstream.

"It appears that we may have found some clothing articles that the dad has identified to confirm it does belong to his son," Lt. Salazar said.

The 11-year-old boy's father sat along the road, 50 feet above the creek, with his head slumped over in his hands.

Searchers told him, with the water so high, fast, and cold, his son's chances of survival are extremely small.

The search will continue until nightfall and then resume Sunday.

But searchers tell Action News it took them a month to find the last person to fall into these waters.

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