Sunday evening on July 30 about 6:30 p.m., an adult male and female who are not residents of Livingston County along with an 8 year old child (not their child) from Cameron began self-guided float trip on the Thompson and Grand Rivers which began at Highway 190 and Thompson River Bridge and was to end at U.S. 36 Highway. These people told a person to pick them up in one hour, believing that is all it would take to float that distance.
One adult did take a cell phone with only 1/3 battery power and thought this would be sufficient in event of an emergency. The adults had cheap air up float devices for their excursion.
Sometime during the night the adults began to believe they had went past the meeting point and made their way to the river bank and waited for daylight or help. A person responsible for picking up the group called dispatch at 12:29 a.m. on July 31, as the group had not yet arrived.
Subsequent searching of the area involved 3 members of the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and a Missouri State Trooper. Searching of the vast area lasted several hours and finally a deputy and trooper on the east bank of the Thompson River found the 3 people on the west side. The group did not feel safe crossing the river to meet the officers which resulted in LCSO staff going to the west side and wading through a lot of thick heavy brush and weeds to reach the group. A deputy carried the small child out due to having lost a shoe. The officers finally had the group off the river at 3:55 a.m.
It is unclear at this time if the child’s parent(s) were actually aware of their child being on this float trip. One adult reportedly had a bottle of vodka for the trip. The group had no flashlights and overall were poorly prepared for their venture.
The majority of the river was too shallow for a boat to search for the group by water.
The most important thing is everyone is okay and uninjured. Since a young child was involved in this mess, a report will be submitted to Prosecuting Attorney Adam Warren for consideration of Endangering the Welfare of a Child charge.
It is fair to say this was a very long night for all involved.
Sheriff Steve Cox