Res­cue crews search for pos­si­ble drown­ing vic­tim

The News-Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Julia Perkins

NEW MIL­FORD — Crews searched for hours Monday for a miss­ing boy who pos­si­bly drowned in Candlewood Lake.

By 7:15 p.m., a New­town dive team had yet to find the young male in the wa­ter off Dike Point Park, where he had cel­e­brated Me­mo­rial Day with friends, New Mil­ford Po­lice Sgt. Jim Dzamko said.

The murky wa­ters hin­dered divers’ abil­ity to find him, he said.

“There is just no guar­an­tee they can find him right away,” Dzamko said.

The dive team might have needed to halt the search when it got dark for the safety of the divers, but would re­sume in the morn­ing, he said. It was not clear by early evening whether the search had stopped.

The boy had been swim­ming near Rock Is­land be­fore park-go­ers re­al­ized he was miss­ing and called 911, Dzamko said. DEEP of­fi­cials have said the wa­ter

is any­where from 20 to 30 feet deep there, Dzamko said.

New Mil­ford po­lice, New Mil­ford’s Wa­ter Witch Hose Co. No. 2, crews from New Fair­field and Brook­field, New­town Un­der­wa­ter Search and Res­cue, and the State En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion Po­lice were called to as­sist some­time around 4 p.m.

Emer­gency ve­hi­cles sta­tioned in Ger­ard’s Wa­ters Edge Ma­rina, next to Dike Point Park. Au­thor­i­ties blocked off the sec­tion of Old Town Park Road right be­fore the park and told driv­ers the park was closed. Po­lice had not con­firmed the boy’s name or age and had not con­tacted his fam­ily. Mayor Pete Bass said the boy was a teenager.

The boy was not with fam­ily at the park, but Dzamko said he could not disclose the age of the peo­ple he was with be­cause it would re­veal the boy’s age. De­tec­tives in­ter­viewed his friends, Dzamko said.

The plan Monday night was to bring the boy to Dan­bury Hos­pi­tal if he was found, Dzamko said. That plan could change if he was found days later, he said.

The dive team’s sonar equip­ment picked up a sev­eral hits in the wa­ter, but it was un­clear what this meant, Dzamko said.

“It could be a body,” he said. “It could be a cou­ple of rocks.”

Me­mo­rial Day week­end kicked off the sum­mer swim­ming and boat­ing sea­son.

“This is not the way we want to start off,” Dzamko said. Check new­ for up­dates.

“There is just no guar­an­tee they can find him right away.” New Mil­ford Po­lice Sgt. Jim Dzamko

Julia Perkins / Hearst Connecticu­t Me­dia

Of­fi­cials are search­ing for a pos­si­ble drown­ing vic­tim at Candlewood Lake on Me­mo­rial Day.

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