Body remains missing after day-long search at Cape Fear River

ERWIN, NC (WNCN) – Search teams in Harnett County spent all Tuesday searching the Cape Fear River for 25-year-old Edwin Ordonez-Vasquez.

He and his 29-year-old brother Emilson Ordonez-Vasquez were fishing and swimming in the Cape Fear River Monday when the current swept them under.

Emilson’s body was recovered by crews Monday night. Crews continued searching Tuesday for his brother, who he was last seen in. Harnett County Sheriff Wayne Coats said a passerby tried to save the brothers but couldn’t.

“A bystander jumped in and grabbed one of the brothers. The current was so strong that it pulled them all under water. He just lost track of him,” Sheriff Coats said.

The rain finally stopped the salvage work on Monday evening. The sheriff fears the younger brother could become trapped under debris or drift downstream.

“The river is unpredictable. There’s so much current underneath that you can’t see yesterday when they swam out there. When you get down and the current is down there, it can grab you in a hurry,” he said.

The depth of the river also makes the search difficult. Pockets of river can be one to 25 feet deep. Fort Bragg sent a watercraft to the scene of the accident to assist in the recovery.

Heartbroken family members stood by for updates all day. The sheriff said the brothers’ father needed medical attention for heart problems.

“Losing two children in one day – we must keep this family in prayer. And hopefully we can find that other body and kind of shut this family down,” Sheriff Coats said. Body remains missing after day-long search at Cape Fear River


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