INDIANAPOLIS - INDIANAPOLIS - A 13-year-old boy drowned in the White River near Interstate 70 in downtown Indianapolis late Friday, police confirmed.
The incident was reported just before midnight on the city's southwest side in the 1000 block of White River Parkway West Drive near the Kentucky Avenue bridge.
Indianapolis Metro Police Department officer Christopher Wilburn said that a group of three boys and 2 girls was swimming in the White River when one of the boys went underwater.
"I don't know if he stumbled or slipped, but he fell into the drop-off and he couldn't swim," said Dept. of Natural Resources Officer Jet Quillen. "Two of his friends tried to go in and swim after him … they just couldn't get him."
The group then flagged down an IMPD officer for help.
"The kids flagged down an officer who was driving by. That officer jumped in the water to begin searching for the boy," Officer Wilburn said.
Indianapolis Fire Department diving crews were called to the scene. The search was difficult due to the strong current and debris in the river, officials said.
After searching for about three hours, crews pulled the boy's body from the river. The victim was identified as Micah Strong, 13, of Indianapolis.
Authorities said the drowning is a grim reminder to teach your children to swim.
"A lot of people cannot swim, and that's probably your biggest key goal around the water," Quillen said. "If you can swim you have a better chance."