“I just want him found” family devastated after 2-year-old falls into Mississippi River


The search for a 2-year-old boy who fell off a dock and into the Mississippi River Tuesday night continues. 

Several departments in the area searched for over three hours on Tuesday night, resuming their efforts around 8a.m. Wednesday morning. 

As crews rotated in and out of the water through the day, family members watched and waited for the beloved little boy, Hawk Newberry, to be found.

On Wednesday morning, the victim’s aunt, Nita Newberry spoke with Local 4 News after seeing her nephew fall into the water the night before.  

“I want him found,” said Newberry. “I just want him found.” 

Newberry says several family members were fishing on the dock at the time.

“We were just fishing. He was having a great time, his sister and him were playing.”  

But says everything took a turn for the worst in the blink of an eye. 

“And then just that quickly you heard the splash.” 

Sending Newberry rushing toward her nephew, hoping to save him. 

“I went running over there and dove to try and get him and then his dad came in and that’s when the two other guys came in and they just couldn’t get him,” she said.

Today she says while she’s devastated, she’s grateful to the two civilians who risked their lives for her nephew.  

“When he fell in his father jumped in and then there were two men that jumped in too and I just want to thank them so much for doing that and being there and taking the risk themselves,” said Newberry. 

To make matters worse, Newberry says her sister, the little boy’s mother, has been in the hospital and is seriously ill.  

“So she had to have the news broken to her in the hospital and it was just horrible,” she said.

As the searched continued into the evening Wednesday night, Newberry says the family is doing their best to hang on, and is forever thankful to have the community to lean on. 

“Thank you for the men who had jumped in there and risked your lives, thank you for your prayers, and not even for the people that are here just everywhere thank you, you know? Our family really appreciates you very much,” said Newberry. 

The Rock Island Fire Department, Davenport Fire Department, Rock Island Arsenal Fire and both Illinois and Iowa Departments of Natural Resources responded spent roughly ten hours searching the river on Wednesday. Divers could also be seen going in and out of the river throughout the afternoon. They called off the search around 6p.m. and will continue their search early Thursday morning.

Check back with Local 4 News for updates. 

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