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Four weeks of searching for 4-year-old boy missing in Deer Creek

It's been four weeks that Owen's family has been without their four year old boy.

Posted: Jun 20, 2019 9:14 AM
Updated: Jun 20, 2019 9:31 AM

CARROLL COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)-Thursday marks four weeks since Owen Jones went missing in Deer Creek. Owen, his family and friends were at Riley Park enjoying the nice weather when the unimaginable happened. The four-year-old was swept downstream in the high water and strong currents. He has been missing ever since.

Four weeks later, there are no new updates to report. Owen's body is still yet to be found.

There's no doubt that each day gets tougher for everyone involved, including the ones looking for him. News 18 spoke with Lieutenant Dan Dulin with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources about the latest search efforts.

He said despite the time that has gone by, the DNR is still looking just as intensely as when Owen was first reported missing. Nearly each day since then, officers have been patrolling both Deer Creek and the Wabash River on boat. They search for hours each day.

Cadaver dogs and a helicopter were called in to help with the search in what investigators called a 'big push.'

Dulin said officers from four out of the five Northern Indiana districts are working on this case.

He said officers found a pair of blue shorts, which is what Owen was wearing when he was swept downstream in the creek. However, Owen's family confirmed the shorts were not his.

Lieutenant Dulin said the job is tough, but it's what they do. And the public expects them to do it.

He said this situation is trying, because everyone is looking for a resolution. 

"Obviously no one wants to find Owen more than his parents," Lt. Dulin said. "But second on that list are all the officers and the public safety folks that have been working on this since day one." 

Lieutenant Dulin said in a lot of cases similar to this one, recoveries are made by fisherman or people boating and spending time on the water.

He is asking the community to be mindful that the DNR is still looking for Owen. If you see anything suspicious you are asked to call 911 right away. 

Lieutenant Dulin said scuba divers and river rescue crew have been checking all the logs in the water. He said they have been able to get to the bottom of about 90 percent of the log jams. There are still a few areas that have not been checked because the water is too high and it's unsafe.

"If you would've asked me a month ago if we still would've been working on this case I would've said no we would've had a resolution by now," Lt. Dulin said. "Challenges obviously are the fact that we've had such a huge amount of water and no breaks in the rain."

Dulin is asking the community to continue supporting the Jones family. He said they need the support more than anybody because he said, "this is the worst thing that has happened in their life."

Lieutenant Dulin said in tragedies like these, we should always find a lesson to be learned.

While the DNR is all about promoting recreation, the department wants the public to recognize the extreme dangers of moving water.

Weather Team 18 is forecasting heavy rain and storms this weekend, which could potentially impact the search efforts for Owen.

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