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New Details Emerge After Apparent Drowning of 12 year-old Boy in Antrim County

River Park Flowers
River Park
River Park Memorial

We are learning new details today about a tragedy in the water in Ellsworth that claimed the life of a 12 year-old boy on Thursday.

9&10 News was on the scene Thursday night in Ellsworth, where crews pulled the boy from the water at River Park near the Wooden Shoe Campground. First responders worked on the boy as he was rushed to the hospital. But 9&10 News learned Friday morning that the boy was pronounced dead about an hour after arriving at the hospital.

Now, there is a makeshift memorial set up at River Park: just a couple of flowers on the beach in memory of the sixth grader who died. It’s the spot where the Ellsworth Middle School track team came to cool off after a hot day of practice.

Antrim County Sheriff Dan Bean says, “We were at 90° weather which we don’t have up here this time of the year. They were out running track. One of those things to cool off and this tragic event happens.”

The Ellsworth Police Chief and the Sheriff say the boy stepped past a steep drop-off and went under in a spot that’s at least 25 feet deep. Many friends, adults, and even a sibling were there at the time, but they weren’t able to rescue him. Sheriff Bean says, “This is a tragedy, nobody ever wants to go through this. But that community really did all they could for this young man.”

Attendance was optional Friday at Ellsworth schools, and counselors are available for any student in need.  Students and the community are welcome to leave cards and items by the flagpole as a memorial outside the school.  Sheriff Bean says, “I think in this tragic event you have Ellsworth, for the small town that it is, will come together.”

In a letter to families, the superintendent says the student “was a kind soul” and a beloved member of the Lancer family. He will be missed by his classmates and school staff.

The school will hold a candlelight vigil for their classmate on Sunday. The boy’s name has not been released.