Body of missing 6-year-old boy recovered from Trinity River

July 7, 2012 4:46:16 PM PDT
The body of a Houston boy who went missing while on a family outing was found Saturday, bringing a tragic end to two days of tireless searching.

James Vongxay, 6, was fishing with family on the Trinity River near Lake Livingston on Friday when he disappeared around 2pm about a mile north of Mudd Street near Browder's Marina.

On Sunday just after 11am, crews pulled his body from the river.

We are told James' family went to the area often to fish, but James did not know how to swim.

Sheriff's deputies and firefighters began their search quickly on Friday. They closed the spillway at around 3:30pm, used sonar equipment, but also dragged the bottom of the river, and it was slow going.

And though crews concentrated on the water, they also combed the woods, with no one ready to classify the search as one of recovery.

Both water and land searches resumed Saturday morning after an overnight break.

Captain Carl Jones with the San Jacinto Sheriff's Office said sonar pictures helped lead them to the boy's body, which had drifted about 50 yards away from the bank.

"Once we got our boats moving, we had an object that was caught up underneath the log," Jones said. "We worked it out, then the little gentleman floated up."

Jones said this tragedy is a warning for anyone who fishes this part of the river.

"Where the danger signs are," he said. "Heed those dangers signs. If it says 'don't wade in the water,' don't get in the water."

The spillway, which was open at the time of James' drowning, causes extreme currents -- so strong, not even an experienced swimmer could stay afloat, officials said. There's a danger sign posted, but that current is the same reason the area is a popular spot for fishing.

"There is no control over that current. They could be out there wade fishing, a current catch them and pull them into a pocket," Jones said. "A grown man could fall into the same predicament."

We worked on this story with Houston Community Newspapers. You can read more in the EasTex Advocate.


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