As darkness fell Thursday, the search for a 12-year-old Akron boy with autism who was swept away by the rain-swollen waters of the Mud brook tributary behind the Timber Top apartments was called off for the night.
Cuyahoga Falls firefighters have been assisting their Akron counterparts in a water search for the child for more than three hours.
Lt. Rick Edwards of the Akron Police Department has identified the child as Nicholas Shaffer, 12, who resides at the apartment complex. Edwards said police were summoned by the boy’s mother at 5:43 p.m. Thursday after Nicholas, who’d been dangling his feet in the water, jumped in and was carried away.
Kameron Williams, 21, Kaila Watkins, 22, and Phil Watkins, 23, all of the same apartment complex, jumped into the water and tried to rescue Nicholas.
Williams said he saw the boy’s face in the water before he drifted away.
One of the divers estimated searchers have covered about 5 miles of the tributary. The speed of the water is estimated at 7 knots. Firefighters from more than a dozen agencies were on the scene.