Two Brothers Die In Edwards River - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Two Brothers Die In Edwards River

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UPDATE:

The identities of the two young brothers who died in the Edwards River Friday have now been released.

9-year-old Nicholas Bullack and 12-year-old Harland Bullack apparently drowned while wading in the river near Mannon, Illinois.

Initial reports from the Mercer County Sheriff's office listed the younger boy's age as seven years old. The Mercer County Coroner, Ron McNall, has now confirmed the boys' names and ages as nine and 12.

Original:

The search for two boys in Mercer County is over. It was a sad ending, with both boys' bodies recovered from the Edwards River late Friday afternoon.

Obviously, this is not the outcome anyone had been hoping for. Mercer County Sheriff Tom Thompson called it a "tragedy".

The two boys had been missing since just after 11 o'clock Friday morning. They had been wading in the Edwards River near Mannon, Illinois - that's northeast of New Boston.

They were last seen near the 70th Street bridge.

And that's where the two boys' bodies were found around 4 p.m.

It was a difficult discovery for everyone involved:

"Any time you've got kids involved, it just makes you sick," Sheriff Thompson said.

These kids were two brothers - one aged 12, the other just seven years old. Their identities are not being released at this point, pending notification of their family members.

Both apparently drowned in the Edwards River, where they had been wading earlier in the day.

"It's relatively shallow, but there are lots of drop offs - places that drop off," Thompson explained. "That's what happened - They walked into a drop off. Couldn't get out, apparently."

Emergency crews from across the area were on the scene for hours looking for the boys, then helping to recover their bodies.

Among the agencies that responded: New Boston Fire, Police and Ambulance crews, who were joined by fire departments from Eliza, Keithsburg, and Joy. Plus, Illinois State Police, Louisa County Water Rescue, Muscatine Search and Rescue, and the Mercer County Search and Rescue Team also came out to help search for the missing boys.

"To look at it, it doesn't look like someone would be able to drown there, but it just depends on the cut backs and so forth in the river. There are holes that are 12, 15 feet deep," Thompson said.

Along with the river itself, the weather proved to be a major challenge for emergency crews. Highs were in the 90's and the heat index easily nearing triple digits:

"It seems like these things always happen in extreme weather. Either it's real hot or real cold," Sheriff Thompson said.

These crews came prepared:

"They brought plenty of water out and so we were able to keep people hydrated," Thompson said.

But nothing can prepare crews for an outcome like this one: Two young brothers - wading in the river one moment - simply gone the next.

The boys' bodies were taken to a local funeral home.

The sheriff couldn't tell us whether an autopsy was planned.

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