As a result of many inaccurate media reports, SCDN was contacted exclusively to clarify the situation.
The boy’s custodial adult reported that several boys were fishing. The two swam between the sandbar and the river edge in the shallows. There was a dare to swim across the river. Two of the teens were swept away. One made it back to shore, the other did not. As they contacted 911, the teen was floating on his back and “looking up”.
As of this morning, rescue workers, including volunteers, and people working off shift, are still searching for the missing teen. The rescue effort involves nearly 100 people.
The identities of the teens involved will not be released until a later time.
According to the US Geological Survey, the Scioto River can push 72,578 gallons of water per second on an average day. Currently, Piketon Monitoring Station reports a lighter flowing river, but when rainwaters hit later today, that will change.
It is requested that volunteers who wish to help with the search do not get into the water. Another accident is not something they want to happen. It has been stated, however, that people are welcome to search the riverbanks. It is a slippery and treacherous area, so extreme caution is recommended.
A flood warning is in effect for the area where the search is currently taking place. Rain will continue throughout the day.
The search will continue today, so be on the lookout for updates.
It has been confirmed that the missing teen is Jeremy “JJ” Sheppard, Jr. Sheppard is a 10th grade student at South Webster High School.
At 8 pm on Wednesday, a candlelight vigil was held in the school gymnasium.
It has been announced that counselors will be available to students, staff, and anyone in need of emotional support.
The SCDN’s Austin Potts was overwhelmed with emotions after reporting on the situation for 24 hours and joined the search efforts. He is fully supported in his decision.
Jeremey Sheppard, his biological father, angrily spoke out on social media saying that he is helping look for his son. According to him, he cannot do more due to his work schedule.
A female and Mr. Sheppard were seen pacing in front of our camera during our live stream from the scene. Our coverage from last night shows them.
In the past 24 hours, the Scioto River has risen nearly a foot, according to the Piketon Monitoring Station. There has been a substantial increase in the river’s flow.
As developments progress, we will keep you updated.
This story has taken a new turn. Jeremy Sheppard, the father, claimed that “JJ” is not in the river at all.
After hearing this, a friend suggested he call off the search party if he knows something.
This news swept through the group of volunteers like an ice bath.
In our estimation, nearly 3,000 manhours have been devoted to this search, based on the number of rescue workers.
A family member told SCDN that “JJ” does not live with his father. He is said to live with another member of his family.
Wherever the story takes us, we’ll follow it.