Harrisburg police continue investigation into drowning

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Harrisburg police are investigating the drowning death of an 8-year-old boy after he and some family members in his age group went to City Island on Sunday evening.

Investigators say they went into the river near the beach on the north end.

A witness told ABC27 the boys approached her, screaming that the 8-year-old went missing in the water and that he was not a swimmer. The woman said she and a man from New York went in the river about chest deep, but they could not locate the boy. She said moments later first responders arrived and immediately went in the river.

According to police, the search for the victim took place in fast moving water. The boy was found 35 minutes later, unresponsive and was pronounced dead at Harrisburg Hospital.

Steve Oliphant is the owner of Susquehanna Outfitters and has seen a lot of close calls over the years.

“When you get in about waist or chest deep,” Oliphant said, “the undercurrent can catch you by surprise, and it can be a struggle for swimmers, so it can create major problems for those who don’t know how to swim.”

Oliphant says that what happened was a tragedy, and his heart goes out to the boy’s family, and to the youngsters who witnessed the drowning.

Harrisburg police have not released the name of the boy as they continue to investigate.

ABC27 was informed the boy was a student in the Harrisburg School District and counselors will be provided for students.

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