Authorities find body of missing 7-year-old Omaha boy

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 5:20 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies on Thursday found the body of Avi Gurung, the 7-year-old who went missing at N.P. Dodge Park earlier in the week.

Omaha Police Officer Phil Anson said search crews had located and retrieved the body from the Missouri River just under the Interstate 680 bridge. He said deputies were in the process of wrapping up their search when they were approached by a fisherman who said they may have seen an object that maybe belonged to a child. A follow-up on that search led to the discovery of Avi’s body.

Anson offered sincere condolences to the family, who was present at N.P. Dodge Park on Thursday night when OPD made the announcement to the media. He said they were still talking with command officers at the scene.

Avi Gurung, 6, was reported missing near N.P. Dodge Park on Tuesday evening, Aug. 3, 2021....
Avi Gurung, 6, was reported missing near N.P. Dodge Park on Tuesday evening, Aug. 3, 2021. Omaha Police said the photo on the left was taken Tuesday. (Omaha Police Department)

Avi, missing since Tuesday evening, was last seen in a cove near the edge of the Missouri River near his family’s large gathering. The family was tending to two other children when the boy went missing.

OPD said in an update earlier Thursday evening that they had confirmed the boy had last been seen in the water, so crews were concentrating search efforts there.

DCSO had a boat in the Missouri River on Thursday morning while police used drones to areas along the river banks. Council Bluffs Fire Department also brought in sonar to help with the search.

The family was not seen at the park Thursday, but police said they are cooperating with search efforts.

Officers also closed off the trail access to the park around noon Wednesday as Council Bluffs and Eppley fire departments as well as DCSO personnel were searching the river, including areas further downstream.

“What we’re going to do today is we are going to use our sonar to do sight imaging,” CBFD Capt. Jack Gangwish said. “Sight-imaging seems to be what we use to have our best luck with locating any kind of structure or anything down in the water that might stick out that we want to take a chance to look at. We take our time, and do what we can to help with going certain speeds and trying to find and pick out objects that may be valuable as a target we want to look at.”

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