Body of missing 5-year-old Salem boy found in Willamette River

Prayer vigil for missing 5-year-old in Salem

SALEM, Ore. – The body of a 5-year-old boy who went missing at Wallace Marine Park on Friday evening was found Monday in the Willamette River.

Allen "Chaz" Pearson was found near Wheatland Ferry, about 13 miles down river from where he was last seen, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office. 

The investigation is being treated as a drowning.

Pearson was last seen at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, playing with other children at the water's edge near the pedestrian bridge over the Willamette River, according to Salem police.

Authorities and about 100 volunteers searched for Pearson all weekend. Agencies used canines, boats, a helicopter and even a drone in the search.

Family and friends held a prayer vigil Saturday night. The family is part of the Oregon Marshallese Community, a group of about 3,000 in Oregon who have ties to the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. A large group from the community prayed together at the park Saturday night.

A spokesperson for the family said they are "heartbroken."

"The family is good, nice family. The boys is a happy boy, active," said a family friend. 

Pearson is the second boy to go missing at Wallace Marine Park this year. In June, an 11-year-old boy drowned in the river while at the park.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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