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4-year-old recovered in Bibb Pond on 10th day of search efforts

COLUMBUS, Ga (WRBL) - Search crews recovered the body of four-year-old Beau Rabon Friday morning after ten days of search efforts in Bibb Pond.  

 "As we stated, myself, Sergeant Bolen,10 days ago, that we wouldn't quit. We give our word to the family that we would find this kid, and it culminated this morning, so we give the family closure," says Columbus Fire and EMS Battalion Chief Bryan Watson.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Columbus Fire nd EMS have worked from dusk until dawn searching the Bibb Pond area for the missing father and son.

Battalion Chief Watson says the divers worked through extremely difficult underwater conditions to find Ryan and Beau Rabon's bodies.

"It was really a team effort to bring resolution to the family," says Game Warden, Sergeant Jeremy Bolen with DNR.

The Rabon family spent their days waiting at Lake Oliver Marina, praying for a miracle.

"Every day, me and Jeremy would go down and talk to this family- three, four, five times a day. They would wait for us to leave at night, knowing we were going to come talk to them," says Battalion Chief Watson.

Search crews recovered the father, 27-year-old Ryan Rabon, Sunday.

The search efforts continued until crews found Beau.

"When you deal with children, it's different. It's different," says Battalion Chief Watson. He says a lot of the searchers have children, and recoveries like this one hit close to home.

New underwater sonar and support from South Carolina's Department of Natural Resources assisted in the Friday morning recovery.

Battalion Chief Watson says the new technology allowed the search crew to narrow down the search area even more.

Sergeant Rhett Bickley with South Carolina DNR says they came with intentions to help find this child and a desire to bring closure to the family.

"In general, when we do this, we kind of adopt the family. They’re ours, and we have to work for them, and do our best to bring their family member back to them, because you may know that your family member is gone, theoretically in your mind, but until somebody can bring them back to you, you can’t really begin the closure process, and that’s a big part of this," says Sergeant Bickley.

But, at the end of it all, it's the people that gave their time and energy, fighting to bring a family closure, that recovered the child.

Sergeant Bickley says, "What brought Beau home was the fireman and game wardens that were working together and out there going. The equipment didn't do it at the end of the day. It was the guys in green and the fire squad that brought him home."


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