STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — UPDATE: Officials continued their search efforts at 9 a.m. and at around 10:39 a.m., search crews found a child that matched the mother's description of the 4-year-old boy, officials are asking people to pray for the family. The body was removed from the water and turned over to the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s Office for investigation.
ORIGINAL STORY: The search is on for a 4-year-old boy who disappeared in a river at a Stone Mountain park Saturday evening, fire officials said.
Gwinnett Fire and Emergency Services, Gwinnett Police Department and DeKalb Fire Rescue agencies all arrived at Yellow River Park in Stone Mountain after the boy's mom called 911 at 5:41 p.m. First responders arrived on scene at 5:47 p.m.
The boy's mom told first responders they were both at the park together near the river. She said she turned away for a moment, looked back and he was gone. She told authorities she saw her son go under water. He was only wearing black sweatpants when he got lost under the water, fire officials said.
First responders deployed a helicopter that was over the search and rescue area and had multiple drones in the air searching for the boy as well, police said. Air units will were deployed until 1 a.m.
Due to safety concerns regarding darkness, first responders on the ground called off their search and rescue operations until Sunday morning. They made the decision once it reached 8 p.m., Gwinnett County Capt. Ryan McGiboney said in a press conference at 9:30 p.m.
>>Watch the full update below
McGiboney added that rocks and branches become risk factors for everyone involved, especially when there is no visibility. The agencies reached out to Georgia Department of Natural Resources to see if they can get more water crafts to help in the search.
"It's really tough because everyone wants a happy ending," McGiboney said. "We remain hopeful that a miracle appears."
In the press conference, McGiboney said that rain in the forecast Sunday morning will complicate search efforts.
He also urged families to ensure that people, especially young ones, are wearing a flotation device, such as a life jacket when near a body of water. McGiboney said the boy did not have one on.
He did say, however, there have been successful water rescues at Yellow River Park in the past. He noted the strong current the river had due to rain that came in early Saturday morning.
McGiboney urged those to say prayers for both the family and the crews that are searching and they remain hopeful this story will have a happy ending and that they "aren't giving up hope yet."
This is a developing story. Check back often for new information.
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