Search continues for boy feared drowned

May 21, 2013 10:45:56 AM

Sarah Fowler - [email protected]


The search for a missing child who is presumed drowned entered its fourth day Tuesday. 


Search and Rescue workers with Columbus Fire and Rescue have been searching for ten-year-old Justin Brown since Saturday when an ATV he was a passenger on with his younger brother Jacob flipped and the two were swept away by the rushing current of the Luxapalila. 


The ATV was driven by the boys' father, Billy Brown. 


According to law enforcement, Billy Brown, along with five additional passengers, was attempting to drive a Polaris ATV across a spillway where Magby Creek joins Luxapalila Creek. According to witnesses the swift current flipped the ATV, sending all six passengers into the water. Brown was the only adult on the off-road vehicle. Witnesses said people on shore rushed to grab the children out of the water but could not reach Justin or Jacob. 


On scene, Billy Brown initially agreed to a breathalyser test but then declined. Law enforcement officials obtained a warrant to test Brown's blood alcohol content. He was then taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle where a test was administered. Requests made Tuesday morning for the results of that test were denied by Columbus Police Chief Selvain McQueen. 


The body of six-year-old Jacob Brown was pulled from the river on Sunday. Fire Chief Kenneth Moore said rescue crews with Columbus Fire and Rescue have used sonar up and down the Luxapalila Creek from the site of the accident to the Tombigbee in search of Justin Brown. Moore said the water is still too swift to send down divers. Monday afternoon, the rushing current of the spillway could be heard from 100 yards away. 


Family and friends of the Brown's held a prayer vigil Monday night to pray for the children. A benefit fund has been set up at Cadence Bank for the Brown family. 


The search for the boy will continue until dark today when Moore said his team will reevaluate their recovery efforts.

Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.