Search for juvenile's body to continue over weekend

Traffic on Missouri River bridge on Friday, May 14

Update: Thursday, May 21 at 6:07 p.m.

The search will continue this weekend for the body of a teen that jumped from the Missouri River Bridge a week ago today.

Water Patrol officers brought in their boat late this afternoon, but will be back on the water this weekend.

Robert Nichols, 16, jumped off the bridge last Friday around noon while being transported by the Department of Youth Services.

Despite wearing shackles on his wrists and ankles, he wrestled away from the workers inside the car.

Update: Wednesday, May 19 at 4:35 p.m.:

The water patrol is now alerting agencies downriver to be on the look-out for the body Robert Nichols.

A search of the waters near Jefferson City has not turned-up the 16 year-old's body.

Searchers said they'll continue to look daily at least through Sunday.

There is less debris out in the open waters, but crews said the logs and tree branches are gathering together in pockets.

That makes it difficult to see if the boy's body may be tangled.

Water Patrol is in daily contact with boy's mother.

Update: Monday, May 17 at 5:00 p.m.:

Searchers said they'll try again Tuesday to find the body of a boy who fell into the Missouri River Friday.

Robert Nichols fell or jumped into the river at Jefferson City after escaping from a car driver by workers from the department of youth services.

Nichols was shackled at the wrists and ankles.

The Water Patrol Monday conducted a "surface search" because they believe Nichol TMs body is likely floating. They searched in a 40 mile stretch of river from Jefferson City to the Gasconade River.

However, recent rains have made conditions on the river difficult for the search.

Meantime, the division of youth services is starting its investigation into how the incident happened.

"Any lessons to be learned or changes that need to be made to avoid something like this in the future will be part of that process, Department of Social Services Scott Rowson said.

The state said they'll do an internal review of the transport procedures, but they said all proper security measures were taken while transporting Nichols.

Update: Monday, May 17 at 8:30 a.m.:

The search begins at 10 a.m. Monday for the body of a teen who jumped into the Missouri River Friday afternoon.

Missouri Water Patrol officers will search the surface of the river starting at the bridge at Jefferson City. Missouri Water Patrol expect the body to have surfaced at this point.

They will continue down river 40 miles to the mouth of the Gasconade River. Surface searches allow for longer exntended searches.

Update: Sunday, May 16 at 8:15 p.m.:

The search is over for the weekend. Water Patrol crews will continue to search Monday.

But they have stopped dragging along the river. The search Monday will be a surface search by boat.

Update: Sunday, May 16 at 3:50 p.m.:

Water Patrol officers continue to search for the body of Robert Nichols, 16, in the Missouri river.

Crews tell us so far their recovery efforts have not been successful. The rain and the swollen river is hampering the progress.

Crews will stop their search efforts around dusk Sunday.

Update: Saturday, May 15 at 9:27 p.m.:

Water Patrol officers think they may be closing in on the location of the body of the boy who jumped from the Missouri River Bridge Friday afternoon.

The teen jumped into the water after escaping from a vehicle that was taking him to the Montgomery City Youth Center. KRCG's Colleen Hogan was the first reporter on the scene and has been following the developments ever since.

They've been at it all day; the grisly task of trying to find the body of Robert Nichols,16, in the swollen Missouri River.

Water patrol officers have been on the boat since 8:30 a.m. Saturday, searching and using sonar to see objects under the surface.

This is now a recovery effort and so far, the boy's body has not been found. Though searchers do have a few leads.

"We focused on trying to look for the image of the body, said Corporal John Sellers of the Mo State Water Patrol. We're not sure that we actually found that but we're checking on a couple locations that we saw something and we're not sure if that's what it was."

They've been dragging the area where they believe the teen went in.

"Typically when a body goes underwater, it will go down right there, Sellers said. It won't get carried downstream."

But the high water is making it difficult. It's flooded the boat ramp and area around the Noren access point, which has served as a command center since Friday afternoon. And the water and all the debris in it, is moving quickly.

"The water is up and it is moving a little faster than normal, Sellers said.

Water Patrol will wrap up their search around dusk Saturday. They'll keep dragging Sunday. If the body is not recovered by then, the recovery efforts may stop.

Update: Saturday, May 15 at 6:57 p.m.:

The search efforts continued all day Saturday for a teenager who jumped from the Missouri River Bridge in Jefferson City.

Missouri State Water Patrol is now focusing on dragging the river downstream to look for the body of Robert Nichols,16, who escaped from a vehicle yesterday afternoon that was taking him to the Montgomery City Youth Center.

The boy's mother Yolanda Day identified the boy yesterday as her son. She says a social worker told her that her son said he wasn't going back to the youth center just before he jumped off the bridge. He was handcuffed and shackled when he jumped.

Day said her son was released from the youth center Wednesday but was arrested and being returned to the center after he fought with his brother.

Meanwhile, Water Patrol officials say they've pinpointed two possible spots deep in the water where the boy's body might be.

"We focused on trying to look for the image of the body, said Corporal John Sellers. We're not sure that we actually found that but we're checking on a couple locations that we saw something and we're not sure if that's what it was."

Update: Saturday, May 15 at 9:30 a.m.: Missouri Water Patrol Officers return to the water Saturday morning to search for the body of the 16 year-old boy who jumped or fell into the water.The Patrol says they suspended the recovery efforts Friday evening at sundown.The river level is a couple of feet above flood level and the water patrol says the debris in the water is making the dragging effort more difficult.Boats are concentrating the search 1/4 to 1/2 mile do wnriver from the bridge. Sergeant Jerry Callahan says even in the swift current, a dead body normally sinks quickly to the bottom of the river and stays in place. Update: Friday, May 14 at 8:08 p.m.: Eyewitnesses have come forward who say they were driving near the incident today. They tell KRCG News that the people inside the secure transport did not try and go after the teen after he fled the vehicle.

"Nobody came after him, said Scott Millington. Everybody just sat in the car. Nobody stopped it or anything. I mean, it says according to the news, it says that the people inside the car tried to do their best of stopping him and they didn't do anything. They just sat in their car." Update: Friday, May 14 at 3:40 p.m.: The Water Patrol says it is now focusing on recovering the body of a 16 year-old boy from the Missouri River.Sergeant Jerry Callahan says it is unlikely that the teen survived. Callahan says that the impact alone from the fall is enough to kill someone and that no one saw the boy resurface.Callahan says they aredragging the bottom of the river for the boy TMs body. The search effort will focus on the area between the bridge and 1/2 mile downriver. Officers on the ground have also searched the beaches to check if the boy exited the water or washed ashore. Update: Friday, May 14 at 3:00 p.m.: KRCG News has confirmed with the Missouri Division of Youth Services that it was a 16 year-old boy from the Jefferson City area who escaped from a transport vehicle and jumped into the river. Department of Social Services Communications Director Scott Rowson says that the boy was being transported in what they call a secure transport. He was in full restraints at his wrists and ankles. Rowson could not say if the wrist and ankle restraints were connected. According to Rowson, a female staff member was driving the car and a male staff member was riding in the back of the car with the juvenile detainee. There were no other prisoners in the car. Rowson says as the vehicle approached the bridge the juvenile got out of his seat belt and attacked the driver. Rowson said the boy also attacked the staff member in the back seat. During the course of the attack the driver stopped the car on the bridge. Rowson said the back doors of the transport vehicle don TMt open from the inside and that the juvenile jumped into the front seat and attacked the female driver and escaped. The two staff member followed and tried to retrain the juvenile outside of the vehicle but he was able to get away and jump off the bridge, according to Rowson. Rowson reports that the two staff members are emotionally upset and recovering with minor cuts and bruises. He says it appears they did everything they could to stop the boy from escaping but says that the incident will be investigated. He added that they have never had an incident like this before. Rowson could not comment on why the boy was in state custody other than to say that he was referred to his department by a judge. Rowson says the boy TMs family has been notified. Update: Friday, May 14 at 2:10 p.m.: KRCG has confirmed with police that is was a male juvenile who escaped from a transport vehicle and jumped into the Missouri River.Jefferson City Police didn TMt know the age of the escapee but said he was in custody of the Missouri Division of Youth Services. Police say the youth was being transported from the Prenger Center but don TMt where the destination was.Police say the youth escaped from the car while it was traveling over the bridge. It is not clear why the car stopped or how how the youth got out. Meantime, authorities are still calling it a search and rescue mission. Update: Friday, May 14 at 1:15pm: A helicopter is now aiding in the search for a juvenile prisoner who jumped into the Missouri River.KRCG TMs Kermit Miller is at the scene and reports that the Water Patrol has two boats going back and forth from the Noren Access Ramp. Miller reports that the boats are focusing their search downriver from the Capitol.The river is above flood stage due to the recent heavy rain. The swift current is carrying tree branches, garbage and other debris. Jefferson City Police says it is still trying to determine what agency was transporting the juvenile prisoner and how he/she escaped.Initial reports also said that there was a second juvenile prisoner still on the bridge. Jefferson City Police say they cannot confirm at this time if there was a second prisoner. Update: Friday, May 14 at 12:45 p.m.: The Missouri State Water Patrol launched two boats at 12:40 p.m. at the Missouri River Bridge.The river level is at 25.5 feet in the area. That is 2.5 feet above flood stage.KRCG TMs reporter on the scene reports that northbound traffic is already backed-up into Jefferson City. Ambulance just left scene with lights flashing. No word yet who was inside. Original Story:

Rescuers are using jet skis and boats to try to rescue a juvenile prisoner who jumped into Missouri River at Jefferson City.The Jefferson City Fire Department confirms that the juvenile jumped off of the Missouri River Bridge.Rescuers responding to the scene were told that the juvenile is shackled at the wrists and ankles.KRCG has a crew on the scene and will provide details