Two Men Missing After Trying to Save Boy from River
Published March 13th, 2013
GILCHRIST COUNTY - Two men from Bell are missing and presumed dead after they were apparently swept away by strong currents in the Suwannee River on Monday night.
According to the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office, a group of friends and family members were playing on the shores of the Suwannee River near the Log Landing conservation area, when one member, an 8-year-old boy, fell into the river while playing with a toy boat.
The boy's stepdad, Al Melendez, 38, and Haemant Nathooran, 19, both jumped into the river to try and save the boy. But that's when both men were immediately pulled under the water.
Bystanders were able to save the young boy, but the two men never surfaced. The river's strong undercurrent forced rescue divers to call off their search for the two men yesterday.
Officials say the next step will be to drag a chain across the bottom of the river in hopes of recovering those bodies.
Meantime, a family friend says Mathooran was dating Melendez's daughter, and the two were expecting their first child.
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