UPDATE: Bodies of two young boys recovered from Chickamauga Cree - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Bodies of two young boys recovered from Chickamauga Creek

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Teams plan at the command post to search for the two missing boys. WRCBtv.com Teams plan at the command post to search for the two missing boys. WRCBtv.com
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: More than 20 hours of search efforts ended Monday afternoon, with a community in mourning.

The bodies of two 11-year old boys have been recovered from the flooded waters. They went missing in the Chickamauga Creek Sunday afternoon.

Nearly 100 officers and rescue workers helped with search and recovery efforts.

The boys' bodies were found within hours of each other, not far from where they disappeared.

It was a very tough day for the Cromwell Hills Community family, friends and neighbors as they mourn the loss of both 11-year-olds.

Police say the bodies were found Monday afternoon and the neighborhood is in total shock.

"It was terrible, it's sad," said Jennifer Howard, Neighbor.

Jennifer Howard says the last 20 hours has been tough on the Cromwell Hills Community.

Kentory Ray and Thomas Ruffin, both 11-years-old went missing after falling in South Chickamauga Creek Sunday afternoon.

Rescue crews were out in full force as 90 seperate responders were on the scene searching.

Monday afternoon, the police chief delivered the devastating news, Ruffins' body was found.

"When we finally got the word that they found little Thomas, that's when everyone just broke down", Ralph Lewis, Neighbor.  

Hours later police recovered the second body. Chief Dodd issues a warning to parents to look after their kids more closely to avoid any further tragedies.

"Press on your kids and even teenagers and younger kids that if it's not a designated swimming area and it doesn't isn't a lifeguard on duty don't go in the water," said Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd.

Howard says once the family was alerted the community came together to help save the kids.

"We help each other here and as a community. Before the police came, a lot of the parents went down and said show us where the kids are," said Howard.

Now the community is grieving the loss of two young lives cut short. Some say the healing process will be long and difficult.

Police say the bodies were found about 100 yards from where they entered the creek.

It was a more than 20 hour search that ended in tragedy.


Monday Sept. 23, 3:15 p.m.:  Channel 3 has learned that both of the bodies of two 11-year-old boys have been found by searchers near Chickamauga Creek. Both boys attended Tyner Middle Academy.  Principal Mark Smith said, "We're hurting.  We're heartbroken.  Our hearts go out to the families of these children.  As a school, we will honor them, and reach out to those who are hurting."

PREVIOUS STORY: The number of people searching for missing boys Kentory Ray and Thomas Ruffin has grown to include nearly 90 people.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol has also pressed on it their helicopters into service to give searchers another tool.

 Over 75 people, including law enforcement officials from numerous agencies and volunteers, are searching the area where the two boys were last seen on South Chickamauga Creek Sunday afternoon.

The water search involves divers using sonar to scan the bottom area of the creek, as well as shoreline searches about 100 yards away from the spot where the boys were last seen.

On the ground search crews have set up a 3-4 mile radius for their efforts, and are also going door-to-door, asking neighbors for additional information.

Sunday night, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke and Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd met with the families.


 

EARLIER STORY: Chattanooga police are searching for two children that went missing after playing near a creek.

Around 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Chattanooga Police responded to the 3900 block of Juniper Street regarding 11-year-old Kentory Ray and 11-year-old Thomas Ruffin who had been reported missing.

Neighbors say four boys went down to the South Chickamauga Creek but Ray and Ruffin went into the creek to swim.

Police say after entering the creek the current pulled the boys downstream until they were out of sight from the others.

The two boys that remained on the bank went back to call for help.

Detectives say Ray and Ruffin are still missing. Several search crews are working to find the boys and will resume their sunrise.

Officers and water rescue teams have set up near Cromwell Road and Camilla Drive.

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