Divers Prepare to Resume Search for 8-Year-Old Boy

Cashmere Castillo, 8, fell in Chicago River on Sunday while playing with friends

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    NEWSLETTERS

    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)

    Divers are preparing to enter the murky waters of the North Branch of the Chicago River to determine if a mass discovered by Sonar is the body of 8-year-old Cashmere Castillo.

    Castillo went missing Sunday when he jumped over a fence near the river while playing tag in a park near his Albany Park home. 

    Monday evening, rescue workers using Sonar discovered what could be the boy’s remains in 6 to 8 feet of water.

    Despite an elaborate tethering preparation and a vertical pole to guide a diver and help him lower himself, he could not get down low enough to make contact with whatever was below the water's surface.

    With oxygen tanks running low, a second, and then a third diver set out to repeat the procedure in hopes of reaching the mass to no avail.

    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.