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Noel drowning victim found - KOAM TV 7

Noel drowning victim found

Updated:
NOEL, MISSOURI -

UPDATE 7/15: According to McDonald County Sheriff's Office, the victim from the drowning on Monday had been recovered down stream from where she went into the water. Wiver Moo 12 years old from Noel was located this morning at 1110  by members of the Noel Fire Dept and McDonald County Sheriffs Office.  

In a previous news release, the Sheriff's Office had her name as Wiver Moon, and being 14 years old.

The Noel Fire Dept along with the McDonald County Sheriffs Office are glad that we were able to locate Wiver for her family and provide closure.

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Law enforcement and other emergency officials continue the search for a 12-year-old girl in Noel, Missouri.  She was reported missing yesterday afternoon.

It's been an emotional tug-of-war for emergency workers.  There was the greatest of hope.

"Maybe she got down the river and found a sidebar, or something, that got her on to solid ground and she's hiking somewhere," says McDonald County Sheriff Mike Hall.

There's also the saddest of reality.

"Unfortunately, as the day grew into night, the hopes kind of faded.  We're not looking at a rescue anymore," says Hall.

Hall says the 12-year-old girl, along with her mom and older sister, went down a steep embankment towards Elk River.  Then, the mom saw her youngest daughter slip off a rock, fall into the river, and struggle against a strong current.

"She wasn't a very good swimmer, from what I understand," says Hall.

The girl vanished under the water.

The search focused on the area where she disappeared, after dogs detected underwater scents.  There's a language barrier between the girl's Asian family and emergency workers.  But there's also universal emotion.

"They're (family) pretty distraught.  Dad wants to be out here helping," says Hall.

"There are a lot of people praying.  There are a lot of people praying for this little girl," says Noel resident Mary Hayes.

"I know all the fire department, the EMS, the law enforcement that are out here, it's a child.  It's a 12-year-old.  It affects all of us," says Hall.

Police are not yet releasing the name of the little girl.  The McDonald County sheriff says the water level wasn't so much the cause of this accident.  He believes the reason the girl disappeared was because she didn't have a life jacket to save her from fast water currents.

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