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Crews launch heavy search for third missing child after recent recoveries from Mississippi River

Published: May. 7, 2022 at 12:52 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A rejuvenated search for Ally Wilson launched Saturday (May 7) from the site where she and two other children went missing after entering the Mississippi River two weeks earlier.

Crews from three states joined the search for the missing 8-year-old, following the recovery of the bodies of her 14-year-old sister Brandy Wilson two days ago and of 15-year-old Kevin Poole Jr. last Monday. All three juveniles were swept downriver on April 23.

Brandy Wilson’s remains were recovered near Chalmette in St. Bernard Parish. Poole’s were recovered near Crescent Park in the Bywater on Monday.

“We’ve got about 200 guys searching downriver. A lot of those guys started at 6:30 this morning,” said Todd Terrell with the United Cajun Navy.

“We’ve got guys on horseback. We’ve got ATV’s, drones, and we got a lot of walkers.”

Terrell says volunteers from Texas to Florida are helping in the search.

“This river is tough,” he said. “To find one recovery on the river is a miracle. To find two is a quadruple miracle. We’re just hoping today that we can bring closure to the family.

“It gives hope. Because a lot of people say, ‘You’re wasting your time, you’re not going to find anything.’ But the family needs closure.”

Terrell says with so many people helping, it’s been an eye-opener to just how unforgiving the Mississippi can be.

He says it’s been a learning experience for families assisting in the search to know just how quickly accidents can happen.

“A lot of families are out here today, with their kids, walking the levee. Parents should take the time while they’re walking with their child to explain nature, explain the current and the water and the boat.”

“We walked around the piling this morning, and about halfway on it, I slipped. And it was a second of reality right there.”

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