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Grieving community pulls together in search for missing 4-year-old

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OGDEN — Search crews have not given up looking for a 4-year-old boy who fell Saturday into the Weber River, but on the fifth day of diving and cleaning debris, there's still no sign of him. And today it's not just the boy's family who is feeling the loss.

Something about this story has captured the attention of a lot of everyday people, some of whom went to the river to see if they could spot the boy themselves.

"Everybody wants to get this little boy out of the water and bring him home to his family," said Lt. Mark Lowther with the Weber County Sheriff's Office.

People have been out before searching for missing Boy Scouts, or children lost in the woods, even on Amber Alerts. But there's just something about this story, even though most people figure this is a recovery and not a rescue, that a lot of ordinary, everyday people feel some sort of connection to.

No matter how fast the water is, no matter how unlikely it is that 4-year old Corbin Anderson might be found alive, Ray Matteucci just had to go to the river.

"The undercurrents are real strong," the Roy resident said. "I don't know what I'd do if it was my kid."

He wasn't alone. All day long, everyday, since Anderson fell into the water on Saturday, people have been going to the Weber River at 24th street — just to look.

"Maybe it's just, I don't know, being a parent and just the thought of losing your kid," Matteucci said.

Other volunteers felt the same way.

I got a little son about his age. I don't want any little kid in this water, you know.

–Steve Noriega

"I got a little son about his age," said Steve Noriega, an Ogden resident. "I don't want any little kid in this water, you know."

And maybe that's just it. Even though these people don't know the little boy, or his family, they can still feel a connection as parents.

Pam Rickard lost a baby in a miscarriage 25 years ago. To this day, every time she hears a child is lost, or worse, it affects her. That's why after she got off work, she went to the river.

"I know how people feel when they lose a baby," the Layton woman said.

Some people on their lunch break left flowers, a toy car and a sympathy card with a message to the question of, "why?" Another person just left a long stick for the next searcher, to see if maybe they can dislodge something caught below.

"A lot of people care about little kids, you know?" Noriega said. "Whatever happens to them."

Because, no matter what our differences are, we can all come together at a time like this.

"I don't know," Matteucci said. "Maybe because it's just so close to home."


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