The mother of the 5-year-old girl still missing in the Rock River has spoken out publicly for the first time.
After reading her own account of the rescue on Facebook, which included a link to our raw video on OurQuadCities.com, Local 4 News reached out to Melissa Chavez-Huston. Although we did not see any children in multiple viewings of our raw video — two rescuers and an adult are clear — the events she described appeared to be depicted in our video and we offered to take it down.
In a statement to Local 4 News, Chavez-Huston said her daughter could be seen in the video but wanted it to be used to stress the dangers of boating.
“It’s up so it can stay up and it does show the dangers, but if you could note in it to watch close as I push something on the life boat right before it capsizes. That was Maci. She was alive. I had brought her back numerous times with rescue breathing after going under. Each time she’d come back feisty, yelling, ‘Why haven’t they saved us yet?’ and ‘I’m too young to die.’ I had to untie her life jacket from my wrist and our safety log to put her on that raft, she still had it on. The emergency service workers did their best. They grabbed my baby and I thought she would live and the raft capsized, making the emergency crew need saving and losing my daughter to the water forever. You can print this with the video. I am working on getting signs made about the dangers as we speak.”
The Department of Natural Resources offered these tips for boating safety late last month on OurQuadCities.com.