INDEPENDENCE, Ore. - A day of searching the Willamette River Monday turned up no sign of two brothers who went missing a day earlier while fishing along the shoreline at an Independence park.
Family and searchers returned to the site Tuesday but local officials termed it a recovery effort rather than a search.
Polk County authorities said if 20-year-old Alvin Troub and 8-year-old Michael Runyon fell in the water it is very unlikely they could survive the cold temperatures and swift moving water.
Authorities do not believe the boys were the victims of foul play. They said there were no signs of a struggle at the park, and the boys did not have any known enemies.
They also know that the younger boy is autistic and cannot swim and his older brother is considered a weak swimmer.
Authorities suspended the search Monday evening until Tuesday morning, when they said it will become a recovery - rather than a rescue - mission.
What remained a mystery Monday, however, was why the boys' fishing gear was found packed up on a cement slab near the parking lot - a long way from the river's edge.
The boys' family is holding out hope that they are not in the water and that someone will find them.
The pair were dropped off to fish about 2 p.m. Sunday at a park in Independence. When their family arrived two hours later as planned, the brothers did not show up.
Calls to a cell phone the brothers had with them went straight to voicemail.
The following is a press release courtesy of the Independence Police Department:
On Sunday, November 16, Alvin Troub, age 20, and his brother Michael Runyon, age 8, were dropped off at Riverview Park in Independence to go fishing. When family members returned to the park two hours later at 4:00 p.m. the two men could not be found.
When the information about the missing men was reported to the Independence Police Department a search began. The search quickly included Independence Police Officers, Polk County Fire District #1, and the Polk County Sheriff's Office - including their patrol division, river patrol, and search and rescue unit.
Searchers found fishing poles and fishing equipment believed to be used by the missing young men but no signs of the young men have been found. The search has been hampered by darkness and very thick fog but the search does continue.
The search at this point is focusing primarily on the Willamette River, which is high from recent rains and is moving swiftly.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office has taken the lead in the search effort.
Anyone who may have seen these young men in or near the Riverview Park between the hours of 2:00 and 5:00 PM on Sunday are urged to call the Independence Police Department at (503) 838-1214 or the Polk County Sheriff's Office at (503) 623-9251.