COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The body of a boy who fell into the Chattahoochee River has been recovered.
Officials said six-year-old Jeremiah Henderson was pronounced dead just before 9 a.m. Tuesday. His body was found near the Fort Benning part of the river, 10 miles from where he fell in the water near the wave runner rapid. Starting Sunday night, teams of boaters, divers, and helicopter crews searched the river.
Several agencies worked tirelessly to find Jeremiah after he fell into the river. But there were also some people behind the scenes doing whatever they could to help the Henderson family just make it through the day.
After more than 36 hours of agony, Jeremiah’s family can begin their grieving process.
“Where the child fell in and where we found him is 10 miles," said Columbus Fire’s Battalion Chief, Bryan Watson said. "That’s a lot of water to cover.”
But it was more than just first responders who came out to help.
“[We] got a few trays of barbecue and we took it to the family. We got some waters and some ice,” said Briana Stoner.
Stoner said when she heard what happened, she and other army wives thought saying thoughts and prayers on social media wasn’t enough. They wanted to help first hand.
“And I know it’s not much,” Stoner said. “Obviously I can’t replace the life of a child.”
Jeremiah’s family isn’t ready to speak publicly, but said they are thankful for everything the community has done for them, including paying for hotel rooms for family members who traveled to Columbus.
Stoner and Watson both hope this accident will bring awareness to just how dangerous the river can be, especially if you’re not wearing a life jacket.
“We’ve never recovered one body that had a life jacket on,” Watson said.
“I just hope this is a learning experience for everybody in the community, honestly,” Stoner added.
Jeremiah’s death makes the fourth drowning this year in Columbus and the third drowning in the Chattahoochee River in 2019.