Rescue crews searching drains, Cedar Lake for missing Cedar Rapids teen

Public safety

By Lee Hermiston, The Gazette

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Fire Department will continue to search at 8 a.m. Tuesday for the 17-year-old boy who went missing after being swept into a storm sewer.

City officials have identified the missing tean as 17-year-old Logan Blake.

Rescue crews were searching Cedar Lake by boat and walking possible sewer line paths as they continued to search for the teenager.

Cedar Rapids public safety spokesman Greg Buelow said three teenagers - Blake, 17-year-old David Bliss and 16-year-old Jacob Spurrell - were playing Frisbee near Arthur Elementary, 2630 B Ave. NE when Blake was swept into a storm sewer. Bliss went in to try to rescue Blake and was also swept in. Spurrell flagged down a passer-by to call 911, officials said.

Bliss came out of the sewer system more than a mile away in Cedar Lake, Buelow said and then walked to St. Luke’s Hospital, he said. Although in shock, the teen did not sustain major injuries.

Bliss’ father told KCRG-TV9 the water from the pipe ripped his son’s clothes off of him. He says a transient man gave him a pair of pants to wear to the hopsital.

Crews were called to the scene at about 7:20 p.m. Monday night and spent hours walking possible paths. Using schematic drawings of the sewer system, workers were trying to determine if there were any other possible paths through the system. The search was called off at 1 a.m. Tuesday morning and resumed around 7:30 a.m.

Families of the boys were gathered at E Ave NE and Oakland Road NE as rescue workers continued to search. The families, accompanied by a chaplain, declined to comment to reporters at the scene.

Mark Blake later told Good Morning America he remains hopeful his son will be found alive,

“We have high hopes, he’s a strong kid, he’s a very athletic kid and he’s got a strong will,” Blake said. “We’ve got all the faith in the world that he’s hooked onto something, held on, waiting for the current to slow down.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; lee.hermiston@sourcemedia.net

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