NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) —The search for the three children, who went missing in the Mississippi River Saturday evening, will pick back up Tuesday morning.
Although the Coast Guard suspended their search Sunday night, multiple agencies, including rescue divers with the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office and NOPD’s Special Operations Division, continued their search efforts on Monday.
It was a somber scene as the family of the three kids stationed themselves atop the levee alongside the river.
The three kids have been identified as sisters Brandy Wilson, 14, and Ally Berry-Wilson, 8, and Kevin Poole, Jr., 15.
Family members, friends, and community members have been returning to the same spot near the Crescent City Connection Bridge since Saturday.
“We spent six hours watching and walking up and down this river on Saturday night, hoping and praying that something fruitful will come from the Coast Guard search,” said Bishop W. L. T. Littleton, the pastor of Greater Morning Star Baptist Church of Algiers.
Bishop Littleton is the pastor of a church the family frequents and says the loss of these kids is a big loss for the community.
“They were just community children, neighborhood children, just enjoying life,” explained Littleton. “This is why it’s such a tragedy that we have lost them, but it’s a greater tragedy if we don’t recover their bodies.”
Those close to the family believe the Coast Guard’s work isn’t done.
“I commend them for what they have done thus far, but at this time, I have requested from our representatives that they get in touch with [the Coast Guard] to have them come back out, so we can complete this search,” said the pastor.
As search efforts resume, the family is leaning on their faith and the support of their community.
“The congregation surrounded [the girls’ mother] yesterday and prayed for her and to give her strength that the healing will come in, and we do believe, through time, there will be a healing process,” said Littleton.
The family says they are grateful for the agencies’ assistance. They also said they will return to the Algiers levee each day until they hear their loved ones have been located.
In the meantime, New Orleans police are asking anyone who may have seen something that would help them in their search to please call the department’s fourth district at (504) 658-6040.