UPDATE: Police release name of missing teen last seen in Chippewa River

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (RELEASE) -- On April 23rd, 2019 at 7:28 p.m. the Eau Claire Police Department was notified of a person in the Chippewa River near Domer Park. The initial information was a teenage male was swimming in the river and struggling. Officers and personnel from the Eau Claire Fire Department (ECFD) responded to the area.

The river and surrounding area was immediately searched. Rescue personnel were unable to locate the missing person. Officers were able to review public safety camera footage and locate the teen in the water and observed where he was last seen. Eau Claire Police Officers contacted and interviewed the missing person's friends. Officers learned the teen and three acquaintances were jumping off the cliffs at Mount Simon Park into the Chippewa River. The missing teen swam further into the river, became distressed and could be heard calling for help. Sight was lost of the missing teen and rescue personnel were immediately called.

The missing teenager was identified as Williamefipanio G. Hessel DOB 7/4/2001. Hessel is a City of Eau Claire resident and student in the Eau Claire Area School District.

The search efforts for Hessel are active and ongoing. These efforts are being coordinated by the Eau Claire Fire Department and Eau Claire Police Department. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Bruce's Legacy (a volunteer organization) are also providing assistance.

Counseling and support services are being coordinated by the Eau Claire Area School District.



EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Crews are back out on the water Wednesday morning, looking for a teenage boy.

Eau Claire Police officers tell WEAU 13 News that four high schoolers were swimming in the Chippewa River near Domer Park when one of the boys went under the water.

Experts say that the water is cold enough to make hypothermia possible in a matter of minutes.

Police got the initial call around 7:30 Tuesday night of a report of a person having trouble swimming in the river near Domer Park. Crews searched the area Tuesday night between the park and Big Dells Pond Dam until nightfall.

Law enforcement is urging the public to stay out of the water until the river recedes, and starts to warm up in summer.



EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) --First responders are back out searching the Chippewa River Wednesday morning for a missing person.

According to Eau Claire Police, they got a call around 7:30 Tuesday night of a report of a person having trouble swimming in the river near Domer Park.

Crews searched the area Tuesday night between the park and Big Dells Pond Dam until nightfall.



EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Crews spent Tuesday night searching for one person who they believe is missing in the Chippewa River.

According to Eau Claire Police, a call came in around 7:30 p.m. for a person having trouble swimming in the river, near Domer Park. Eau Claire Police and Eau Claire Fire Rescue searched an area between Domer Park and the Big Dells Pond Dam.

The search was called off at around 9:30 p.m., as darkness set it. It will be resumed at 8 a.m. Wednesday. An official with Eau Claire Police tells WEAU 13 News the search area may be expanded.


EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Crews are assessing a situation along the Chippewa River in Eau Claire. Our crew on the scene sees authorities on a railroad span across the river, between Domer Park and the Big Dells Pond Dam.

We will have more information as soon as it becomes available.