Search to continue Tuesday for missing teens in NE Georgia river

Cameron Smith (left), Bryant Wade
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Cameron Smith (left), Bryant Wade

After four days of searching, crews were unable to find two missing teenagers in a northeast Georgia creek and suspended Monday’s search, officials said.

But the effort continues Tuesday and shows no signs of slowing down.

“We have not established a timeline,” Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry said at a news conference. “We’re going to continue searching, hopefully, until we find both these boys and get them to their families.”

Witnesses said Bryant Wade, 18, of Oconee County, was walking on the dam overlooking flood-swollen Barber Creek when he fell in Friday. Cameron Smith, 18, of Madison County, jumped in to try to save him.

The recent high school graduates did not know each other, the Athens Banner-Herald reported.

A search crew of nearly 200 people from local and state agencies is expected to expand the search to the Middle Oconee River as soon as Tuesday morning, Berry said.

“This river,” the sheriff said, “is not a gentle, flowing river. It’s filled with a lot of places a body could be.”

Berry said the water level in the area continues to drop, which “makes looking for them easier.”

Also, family members of the missing teens have been embedded with search crews.

“This is personal with the families,” the sheriff said. “They want to feel like they’re doing something.”

MORE: Search resumes for missing swimmers at the Falls of Oconee

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Crews are back at a local creek Saturday morning looking for two teens who vanished in flooded waters Friday afternoon.