Small Child Found Dead in Chena River Fish Wheel after Search

image30-05-2014 19.40.59A small child was discovered drowned in a fishwheel following a report of him gone missing on Tuesday afternoon, troopers say in the trooper dispatch.

Troopers in Fairbanks were notified at 12:21 pm that a four-year-old child, identified as Owen Yoakum, had wandered away from his family home without anyone noticing. After an unsuccessful search, Owen’s family contacted troopers and continued searching with the assistance of neighbors.

Family members informed troopers that they lived near the Chena River and were concerned that the small child had gone towards the water. “Based on the seriousness of the report Fairbanks AWT, Rural, Patrol, and ABI responded to the scene with UAF Fire and rescue,” troopers reported.

As PAWS, WSAR, and a chartered R44 helicopter were responding to the area to take up the search, the body of the child was discovered in a fishwheel operating in the area.

EMS immediately transported Owen to the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital to further life-saving efforts, but was declared deceased at the facility.

Although no foul play is suspected in the death of the child, the State Medical Examiner’s office has requested the remains for autopsy.