Cashmere's Body Found in River

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Cashmere Castillo's body was found in the Chicago River Sunday morning about a mile downstream from where he disappeared while playing tag a week ago. (Published Monday, May 24, 2010)

    Cashmere Castillo's body was found in the Chicago River this morning about a mile downstream from where he disappeared while playing tag a week ago.

    The Cook County medical examiner identified the boy this afternoon, according to the Chicago Tribune.

    Rescue crews had been working for the last week to find the child, but suffered setbacks because of murky water and strong currents.

    At one point last Tuesday, rescue crews brought in advanced sonar to aid in the search.

    A Father's Agony

    [CHI] A Father's Agony
    Father of Cashmere Castillo talks about the frustration he has waiting for police to find his son who disappeared into the river (Published Monday, May 17, 2010)

    Castillo's disappearance, which has haunted the local community, was an aberation they say -- the river's fast-moving and swollen conditions are atypical, according to those who live nearby.

    "In summertime, when there's no rain and it's just drought, the river's very low. You can stand over the bridge and just see the bottom.  It's no more than a foot, foot-and-a-half deep, really," said longtime resident Ivar Penaz.

    On Sunday, Castillo's older brother, 13-year old Christian, had been playing basketball nearby and watched his sibling fall into the water.

    "He slipped," said Christian. "I just ran after him, jumped the gate and I tried to run with him"

    Christian called 911 and the Chicago Fire Department immediately dispatched its firefighters, its dive unit and a helicopter to the scene, but rough waters made the search difficult.

    "We encountered swift water, we encountered zero visibility, a lot of debris floating in the river," said Ron Dorneker, Commander with the Chicago Fire Department Special Operations Unit.

    Rescue crews called off their search at sunset Sunday, but Cashmere Castillo's mother and father, Wilfredo and Christian, stayed at the scene throughout the night, shining flashlights at the dark water. Cashmere Castillo could not swim. His family had hoped for a miracle.

    This story will be updated.