04/11/11 — Search, rescue groups hunt for missing child

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Search, rescue groups hunt for missing child

By From staff reports
Published in News on April 11, 2011 1:46 PM

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Members of the Hugo Fire and Rescue use a pipe pole to search along the bank of the Neuse River in Lenoir County Sunday afternoon for a missing 10-year-old boy. Emergency units from Lenoir and Wayne counties responded to a call regarding a possible drowning near Hardy Bridge in the western part of the county. The Wayne County Sheriff's Office Dive Team, along with the Arr-Mac Water Team, assisted in the search, along with several other units in the area, including Sandy Bottom and North Lenoir.

KINSTON -- Authorities were still searching early today for the body of a 10-year-old boy who apparently drowned Sunday in the Neuse River in western Lenoir County.

Henry Javregui, a student at West Greene Central Middle School, was fishing with his family shortly after noon at Hardy Bridge in the Moss Hill section of the county, said Lt. Chris Hill of the Lenoir County Sheriff's Office.

The boy, his father and another sibling were standing on a sandbar near the bridge when the boy apparently stepped into a hole and was carried away by the rushing water.

"Teams searched during the day, and a boat equipped with sonar was used throughout the night." Hill said. "Additional boats and a second boat with sonar equipment will be used today."

Hill said the search was reduced to one boat during the night because the search operation is more dangerous after nightfall.

The Neuse is nowhere near flood stage, but has been rising from several days of rain. It was listed as being at slightly more than 6.5 feet near Hardy Bridge on Sunday. It is expected to crest later in the week several feet higher.

"The Neuse River presents challenges for the search teams," Hill said. "The river is filled with snags and fallen trees."

Hill added that the river's cold water and strong current were additional obstacles for search operations.

The Arr-Mac Water Rescue Team from Wayne County assisted in the effort.

Lenoir County Sheriff's Office deputies and members of the Sandy Bottom Volunteer Fire Department were at the scene this morning. That portion of Hardy Road had been closed Sunday afternoon.

By late in the afternoon, Hill said the search mission had become a recovery mission.