CANTON, Ga. - A massive, hours-long search for a 6-year-old boy ends in tragedy in Allatoona Lake. Investigators believe the child drowned.
Many people joined in the search for Duffy, including law enforcement and civilians. The tragic ending hit a lot of people very hard.
“I can only imagine what they're going through,” said camper Jeff Bearden.
Bearden said he feels nothing but sorrow for the parents of the 6-year-old.
Searchers recovered the little boy's body early Saturday morning hours after he vanished while playing with other children. Deputies said Duffy was camping with his grandmother and cousins.
Bearden had the campsite right next door.
“The mother, she got here later. She was hysterical and the father, ‘Do more. Can we do more?’ Doing all they could. I'd be the same way,” Bearden said.
Bearden joined in the search for Duffy along with dozens of Cherokee County deputies and DNR rangers. Other campers joined in and did what they could do.
“We followed that cop down the ridge and used all the lights to make sure he was getting all the woods covered and he could see everything through there,” said camper Ethan Andrews.
Deputies searched the woods and the lake around the Sweetwater campground until they discovered the little boy's body not far from the shore.
“It appears a large log led from the shore to the lake and possibly walked out on the log and fell into the water,” said Cherokee County Sheriff Lt. Jay Baker.
Understandably, Duffy's family was too distraught to speak with to Channel 2, but Bearden, who knew them only through adjoining campsites, feels their anguish.
“It’s surreal. I can't even put it into words how it makes me feel right now,” Bearden said.
Deputies said there are no indications of foul play but they are awaiting the results of an autopsy.