The search continues for two New York 13-year-olds who went missing on March 13 after being seen jumping into the Hudson River. A video (posted below) shows one boy apparently struggling in the fast-moving water as his friend looks on from the bridge above. This footage is the last time the teens have been seen since the incident.
The Daily Mail reports that Manny Flores and Isaiah Moronta were playing at the Dyckman ball field near the bridge Friday afternoon. Apparently, the boys decided to go for a swim in the hot weather, not taking the swift current into account.
Panic on the Hudson River
“I had gotten a call from one of the parents telling me that my son jumped from the bridge, that’s all I heard. I hung up and called his phone, I have a tracker on him, and I saw that he was in the Hudson,” Moronta’s mother, Yvelise Beltry, told the New York Post.
“When I came here they told me he was trying to save another kid,” Beltry said. “They took their clothes off and my son Isaiah went in first, he came out, and the other kid went in, but he was struggling, and my son went in to save him, and the current took them away.”
It’s unclear which boy is in the water and which is on the bridge in the video. According to the New York Post and the Daily Mail, the boy on the bridge is Manny Flores, while Isaiah Moronta is in the water. However, the New York Times identifies the boy in the water as Flores, “while Isaiah looks down, ready to jump.” It’s unclear if the video shows the moment before Moronta jumped in to help Flores, as described by Beltry.
A Failure of Security?
Maria Urena, a teacher at the boys’ school, told the New York Times that they got to the bridge through a hole in a nearby fence. “It’s a safe park, but the security should’ve been there. It’s an accident, but the area shouldn’t have been accessible to them,” she said. “We lost two children today.”
Urena said classmates of the boys told her about the incident. “One boy thought he could handle the currents and underestimated the strength of the waters,” she said, noting that both boys knew how to swim. Isaiah, in particular, was an avid swimmer, but when he jumped in, “he couldn’t handle the current,” says Urena.
The Search for the Missing Teens
The NYPD and FDNY have deployed boats and divers to the Hudson River to search for the missing teens. On Saturday, March 14, a New York Post photographer spotted a pair of blue glasses and grey pants. A relative later identified them as belonging to one of the boys.
“We’re just trying our best to see, to find a solution. We don’t understand what went on,” an unidentified relative told the Post. “This is a nightmare. Two innocent boys… they don’t deserve to die like this. They were good kids. This is a hard situation.”
Missing Teens Hudson River — Sources
New York Post – “Items apparently belonging to one of lost Hudson River boys found as search continues”
New York Post – “Video shows moment teens jump into Hudson River before disappearing”
New York Times