Body of 4-year-old who fell into Harlem River found near Randall's Island

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Body found near Randall's Island believed to be 5-year-old boy
The boy fell in the river after climbing a tree.

RANDALL'S ISLAND, New York City (WABC) -- The body of a 4-year-old boy who fell into the Harlem River last weekend was recovered off Randall's Island late Tuesday morning.

Brendan Mitchell was found floating near the ferry dock, police said.

Divers spent hours on frantically searching for the child after he fell into the river while climbing a tree Saturday.

The incident happened where the Harlem River and Bronx Kill meet at Randall's Island just after 2:30 p.m.

Witnesses said the boy and his family were at Field 6 in Randall's Island Park for his brother's soccer practice.

Police say the boy got distracted and began climbing a tree close to the water in the Bronx Kill. At some point, he lost his grip, fell into the water and was quickly swept away.

He was last seen just downriver as the current carried him westbound.

Some adults who were at the soccer practice jumped in the water after the boy, but they were unable to get to him. The adults had to be rescued themselves.

"I looked and heard screaming and saw parents going in the water," soccer coach Luis Ramos said. "The two parents went in the water, and one more parent, and so I went looking and I called the police. I said, 'Let me call in just to see what they say.' And that was it we couldn't find him anymore. The last thing I saw was a little arm sticking out."

Searchers scoured the park on land, aided by an NYPD helicopter overhead while boats and divers searched the water.

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