Location: Tule River
Incident Date: 6/26/19
Incident Time: 1900 hours
Victim: 16-year-old boy from Strathmore
Posted by: Media Relations
On June 26, 2019, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office Swiftwater Dive Rescue personnel conducted a planned search and recovery operation to find and recover the missing teen in the Tule River. With the assistance of California Office of Emergency Services cadaver K9’s, the search was successful and his body was recovered at approximately 7 p.m. this evening.
The victim, a 16 year-old boy from Strathmore, went missing on May 12, 2019. He was last seen in the area between Springville and Camp Nelson above Coffee Camp in a location commonly known as the Stairs. His body was recovered today downstream about half a mile.
Search efforts had been hampered by high water flows from the beginning.
“We searched by air and analyzed water flows daily since the boy went missing,” Lt. Kemmerling said. “We purposefully picked today as the best opportunity for a successful recovery mission and all the stars aligned. With some great work by our personnel, the reduced flow and assistance of the K-9s, we were able to bring closure to the teen’s family.”
Lt. Kevin Kemmerling notified his family in person today.
Sheriff Boudreaux expressed sympathy for the family and appreciation for his personnel.
“My heart breaks for this family,” he said. “I am extremely proud of the men and women of the Sheriff’s Swiftwater Dive Rescue Team. They are the best in the state and continually risk their lives to bring closure to families time and time again.”
Sheriff Boudreaux wants to remind everyone that the local waterways still remain VERY dangerous. The water is still extremely cold and moving incredibly fast. Please be smart and stay away from the rivers. The Tule River remains closed due to dangerous conditions.