Recovery crews searching for a teen swept away by quickly rising waters in Eldon Friday night located the body of the 17-year-old Donald Parker shortly before 10 a.m. Saturday. Parker's body was found along a creek bed about a half mile from where he was sucked into a culvert in Eldon.
According to a press release issued by the Eldon Police Department, rescue crews launched an immediate search. Two divers from the Lake Ozark Fire Protection District entered the drainage area downstream and worked their way into the system as crews sent cameras down the end where the individual went in.
Due to heavy rains hampering the efforts, rescuers had to call off the search around midnight. Crews gathered at 8 a.m. Saturday morning to resume operations.
Parker was last seen Friday night in Eldon playing in several feet of water when quickly rising waters pulled him into a nearby culvert. The culvert drains into the Saline Creek, a creek that can become dangerous in high water.
Rescuers from multiple agencies, as well as many family and friends, focused their attention in the Saline Valley Saturday morning.
Rescuers used canine units along Fourth and Short Streets in Eldon and along the Saline Creek bed and searched through thick vegetation, at times taller than the rescuers themselves, to look for Parker.
As time passed, rescuers transitioned from a rescue effort to a body recovery effort.
Eldon Police Chief Rodney Fair asked bystanders to stay out of the way of the recovery teams. Interference from onlookers, according to Fair, would hamper the recovery efforts of the people trained to perform the job.
Eddie Gladback, pastor at New Horizons church, said Parker would sometimes attend youth events at the church and remembered him as a nice, good-hearted kid.
Family and friends at the scene Saturday morning were intent on finding Parker.
The following agencies where involved in the search:
Eldon City Fire and Police
Eldon City Public Works
Lake Ozark Fire Protection District
Moreau Fire Department
Mid County Fire District
Miller County Sheriffs Office
Camdenton Public Works
Miller Co Ambulance
Boone County Search and Rescue
City of Eldon and Miller County Emergency Ambulance.
Missouri State Highway Patrol - Water Patrol Division