Body of missing toddler found in Whitewater River

Indiana Conservation Officer, William Browne, and Franklin County Sheriff, Ken Murphy
Indiana Conservation Officer, William Browne, and Franklin County Sheriff, Ken Murphy
Mitchell O'Banion
Mitchell O'Banion

NEW TRENTON, IN (FOX19) - The body of the 17-month-old boy who fell into the Whitewater River on Wednesday afternoon has been found.

Officials say that the body of Mitchell O'banion was found 2 miles down river from where he fell in the water.

Mitchell was on a kayak with his parents, Carmen Sickmeier, 34, and Lawrence J. O'banion II, 33, when the kayak capsized. Indiana State Police say Sickmeier and O'banion then got out of the river and ran down the road for help.

Volunteers then began a four-day search by helicopter, on land and on the river.

The body was located today at 3:33 p.m. by search and rescue crews on the river near the town of New Trenton approximately 11 miles East of Brookville, IN.

Mitchell's parents organized a press conference during the day on Saturday, before the body had been found. The body was then found, just a half hour before the press conference was scheduled to start. At that time, they released this statement through Todd Wolfe, New Trenton Fire Dept. Chaplain:

"Our Family would like to extend their gratitude to everyone who is working to find Mitchell.  Words cannot express how thankful we are to all the agencies working to bring Mitchell home to us, the Conservation Officers, Police Officers, Fire and EMS responders, and the many volunteers.  To our family and friends and co-workers, we thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and concerns.  We extend our gratefulness to the community for your support and prayers.  During this devastating time, we would like to thank you for allowing us to have our privacy while we are grieving"---Mitchell's Family

According to preliminary reports, the 17-month-old was wearing a life jacket when he fell out of the kayak, but officials say he was not wearing the life jacket correctly. The boy's life jacket was found with one of the straps unbuckled. Sickmeier and O'banion were not wearing their life jackets.

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