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Search ensues after report of girl thrown in river

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Following a 911 call around 10 p.m. on Tuesday night, Sept. 6, law enforcement and rescue began a search of the Tuckaseigee River in Bryson City for a young girl reportedly thrown into the river.

A caller reported his wife saw a woman and a man arguing across the river. Then, she saw the man throw a young girl into the water, he said. She estimated the girl was about 6 years old. The man and woman then apparently left the scene in an SUV.

The caller said they heard the girl scream a couple of times but couldn’t hear her anymore.

The witness saw the incident from Bear Hunters Campground, taking place across the river on Old River Road.

Law enforcement and local rescue volunteers began a search on the water that lasted into the early morning hours. Searches resumed on Wednesday morning.

“Swain Rescue and members of the Bryson City Fire Department searched with rafts on Tuesday night and again Wednesday morning, with no success. Nothing was found in the water or on the bank that gave any evidence of someone being thrown in the water,” said Swain County Emergency Management Director David Breedlove. “The search was suspended pending further law enforcement investigation.”

Assistant Chief Brian Jenkins said other residents were in the area, and none were able to provide further information.

He also reported Swain County Schools had been notified, and have not reported any students unaccounted for.

Eugene Shuler and his business Fly Fishing in the Smokies assisted in a search of the river Wednesday evening.

“He was out with his equipment and didn’t find anything to indicate a child had been in the river at any time,” Jenkins said.

The department has followed up with other law enforcement agencies in the region to see if any children have been reported missing.

“We’ve had information coming in from as far away as Tennessee, and none has proved to any fruition to coincide with what we had here,” he said. “There was a White Kia SUV Amber Alert in Tennessee, but information led to that person being found. The investigation is ongoing at this time.

“According to the chief, our large-scale search has been scaled back but will continue on a smaller scale We will concentrate on the investigate end,” Jenkins said.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Bryson City Police Department at 488-3050.

Smoky Mountain Times

Mailing Address:
PO Box 730
1 River Street
Bryson City, NC 28713 
Phone: 828-488-2189
Fax: 828-488-0315