Rescuers suspended their search Thursday evening for a 5-year-old boy who fell into the Androscoggin River on Tuesday night as the operation entered its third day.
Auburn police Deputy Chief Jason Moen said in a statement Thursday evening that the search concentrated on the area around Gagne & Sons Concrete on Riverside Drive in Auburn, where the boy’s 9-year-old brother who also fell into the river was rescued Tuesday night, and rapids half a mile downriver.
Moen on Wednesday declared that the search had become a “recovery mission.”
The search for the boy has been troubled by poor weather and rough conditions on the Androscoggin River, where high water levels and swift currents hampered efforts by divers to locate him, Moen said during a Wednesday press conference.
The missing boy fell into the Androscoggin River along with his 9-year-old brother around 7 p.m. Tuesday while the brothers played along the riverside. Moen told the Sun Journal on Tuesday night that the boys’ father “tried to save them and was unable to. Both boys were then lost down the river.” The boys’ 8-year-old sister also went into the river in an attempt to rescue her brothers, according to the Sun Journal. The father and sister were not injured.
Moen said in a Thursday evening statement that the boys’ identities will not be released at the request of their family.
The 9-year-old was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he still remains in critical condition, Moen said in a statement.
The search for the missing 5-year-old will resume Friday.
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