Breaking News
More () »

'Devastating' | Community rallies around families of children lost in Mississippi River

Agony sets in for families of the three missing children who got swept away by the Mississippi River.

NEW ORLEANS — Out on the murky waters under the Crescent City connection, divers head out into the deep for day three of the search for the missing children.

Bishop W. L.T. Littleton says the children play an important role in the community, and he won’t give up hope.

“We are seeking that their remains will be found to bring closure to the family. This is our prayer,” Littleton said.

Boats, local dive teams and sonar equipment, are all being used to help find 14-year-old Brandy Wilson, her 8-year old-sister Ally Wilson, and their friend who has now been identified as 15-year-old Kevin Poole.

Poole was a student and football player at LB Landry High School. He was also a part of the Native Plant Academy.

Dr. Angela Chalk was his teacher there.

“It does not surprise me at all that he went in to save the girls. Not at all. That was in his nature to always be giving. He was always the smiling young man and just full of life,” Chalk said. “My staff and I cried the entire weekend. To think that their bodies have succumbed to the very river we were studying is overwhelming.”

Chalk says Kevin’s opportunities were endless.

“Kevin had options to become coastal manager, environmental steward, to become a part of the wildlife and fisheries service or the US Forestry Service,” she said.

Family members believe they were playing along the river when Brandy slipped into the water. The others went after her to help, and were swept under the water as well.

“These children, they were precious children. They were an example that our community needs to emulate. They never got into any type of trouble,”  Littleton said.

Earlier in the day, Councilman Freddie King and Councilman Oliver Thomas visited with families to lend their support.

“Whether it’s human tragedy like this or violence that’s happening, as a spiritual person we’re being commanded to do a better job,” Thomas said.

“The whole situation is devastating. I want the family to know that I’m here to pray with them, sit with them, or to say nothing. Just to be here,” King said.

Agony set in for friends and family members, as they fear that the chances of finding them are growing smaller by the day, but at the very least they’re hoping to find their bodies and bring them home.

Algiers Charter Association released a statement today saying:

“The Algiers Charter community has been devastated by news of the tragic accident involving two of our young students. They were always smiling, respectful, and ready to lend a helping hand--whether it was for their friends, teachers, or coaches. Their futures held so much promise. We are completely heartbroken but remain committed to supporting their families and lifting them up with love and prayers during this unimaginably difficult time.”

Before You Leave, Check This Out