Investigators searching for man after possible drowning

Local News

Update: 10:00 pm, 8/9/17, Wednesday 

HILLERY, Ill. (WCIA) — The Vermilion County Sheriff’s Underwater Search and Rescue Team searched all day for a man who may have drowned in a pond Wednesday morning, but they still haven’t found him.

Authorities received a report of a possible drowning in rural Vermilion County. They were sent to a pond near Polk and Blackford streets.

The sheriff’s department got a call around 10 am, Wednesday, saying a boat capsized and a man in the boat never came out of the water.

The pond is behind the trees at the end of the road. Authorities say three people were in the boat when it tipped over: a man, his fiancé and a 2-year old. Both the woman and the child got out of the water safely but she told police the man went underwater and might have drowned. 

The dive team has been searching for the body for around ten hours, but still nothing has been found and they haven’t released a name. 

Wilbur Cook lives a couple doors down and, for years, he’s been friends with the man he says police are looking for. 

“I couldn’t have a better friend. I can thank him enough for what he’s done for me. He’s done a lot for me and for a lot of people in the neighborhood.”

He says people go down to the pond to fish often, but he’s never heard of any accidents happening there. A tow truck came at around 5 pm to pull the boat out of the water but that’s all they’ve been able to recover so far.

At 8:30 pm, Wednesday, the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department said the search has been called off for the night. They will start looking again Thursday morning. 

There are five people on the dive team. Police say the reason they’re having such a hard time with the search is because the water is so murky and it’s up to 50 feet deep. 

Original: 6:00 pm, 8/9/17, Wednesday

HILLERY, Ill. (WCIA) — The Vermilion County Sheriff’s Underwater Search and Rescue Team is looking for a man they say may have drowned in a pond earlier Wednesday morning. 

It happened at a pond behind private property near Polk and Blackford streets in Hillery. 

Three people were in the boat. A man, his fiancée and a 2-year old child were inside. Both the woman and the child got out of the water safely but the woman told police the man never came out of the water. 

Officers got a call at around 10 am saying a boat capsized on the pond and the dive team has been searching for the body ever since.

It’s been about nine hours and they still haven’t found anything. Captain Hartshorn says they will continue to look until they’re able to give the family some answers. 

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