Livingston County Sheriff Steve Cox reports two adults and a child from Cameron were found safe and uninjured early today following what he described was a poorly prepared float trip on the river. It came to a successful conclusion following a three hour night time search.
Sheriff Cox said the venture began about 6:30 Sunday evening as an adult male and female, with an eight-year-old child (not their child), began a self-guided float trip on the Thompson and Grand Rivers. He stated it began at Highway 190 and was to have ended at Highway 36 when another person was to have picked them up in an hour â€“believing that was all it would take to float that distance.
Sometime during the night, the adults began to believe they had gone past the meeting point; thus the trio made their way to the river bank where they waited for daylight for help. The individual responsible for picking up the group called emergency dispatch at 12:30 this morning worried about the fate of the three persons.
Sheriff Cox said subsequent searching of the area involved three members of the Livingston County Sheriffâ€™s Office and a Missouri State Trooper.
Searching the vast area lasted several hours with a deputy and trooper on the east bank of the Thompson River finding the three people on the west side. The group did not feel safe crossing the river to meet the officers which resulted in the sheriff’s office staff going to the west side by 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 4 am.
Sheriff Cox added it is unclear at this time if the childâ€™s parents were actually aware of their child being on the float trip. He noted the group had no flashlights and only a partially charged cell phone. The sheriff described the majority of the river as too shallow for a boat to search for the group by water.
Since a young child was involved, Sheriff Cox said a report will be submitted to the prosecuting attorney for consideration of charges such as endangering the Welfare of a Child.