Candle Light Vigil Held for Missing Boy
By Sarah Steele Wilson
Oct 17, 2012, 19:33
The light and warmth of hundreds of votive candles mingled with prayers for a missing twelve-year-old and the rescue workers searching for him at a candle light vigil for Clacy Sullivan on Wednesday night.
Sullivan has been missing since Tuesday afternoon when he fell into a water-filled rock quarry on the Vulcan Materials site off Puddledock Rd. in Prince George County.
“It was very important to come out here tonight to show our support to the family and also to show our support for the efforts being made in order to find Clacy,” said Dejaun Branch, one of Clacy’s second cousins.
All through the day, the lawn near the place where Sullivan disappeared into the water was lined with family and friends banding together.
“We are a very supportive family, so once we heard the news, all of us were here,” said Robin Williams, a cousin of the missing child. “All the aunts, all the uncles, all the cousins, we were all here for support.”
She said about a fourth of the people at the vigil were family members.
“Others are friends who have been very supportive throughout the day,” she said.
Branch said the support was meaningful.
“It feels very good and relieving to see that people are there standing in the gap with you in your time of need,” he said.
Clacy was playing with two other juveniles at the time of the accident and police say his friends entered the water to try to rescue him.
"Both of them went in to try to save him," Prince George Police Captain Brian Kei said of the 13-year-old and 16-year-old Clacy was with at the time of his fall. "We actually had two police officers who went in the water as well when they arrived yesterday in an attempt."
When they were unable to recover their friend from the water, the two friends ran to the nearby mobile home park where they lived to call the police.
Kei said the call came in at 4:35 p.m. Rescue workers suspended their search at night fall on Tuesday and resumed their efforts at 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning. The search will resume Thursday morning at 8 a.m.
"I went to work about four o'clock yesterday,” said Clacy’s father, Clay Curry, speaking on Wednesday afternoon about the call no parent wants to get. “I guess about 10 to five, my wife called me, ‘honey just come home now.’ That was it."
Clacy was a student at J.E.J. Moore Middle School in Prince George and was a born leader who everybody wanted to follow, Curry said.
"He was a good student, a good son,” he said. “He didn't clean his room all the time, but other than that, no trouble out of him."
Branch said Sullivan possessed qualities he was happy to see in a young man.
“From my rememberence of Clacy, he was a fun, energetic young man to be around,” he said. “He always had a good spirit. He was very respectful.”
Kei said recovery efforts have proved difficult. The quarry does not have a dock and getting boats into the water has been difficult. Divers have struggled against low visibility in murky water ranging depths of 40 to 80 feet.
Chesterfield Fire and EMS and Crater Technical Rescue have been assisting with the recovery effort.
"They're erring on the side of safety and caution,” Kei said, describing the search. “The depth is the real concern with the divers, and not being able to see is a concern. They're making sure that they get out safely. Unfortunately, it's a slow process."