Family holds out hope as crews comb the Redwood River for missing teenager

A Redwood Falls teen is still missing after a swim in the Redwood River. His family holds out hope while crews search the tricky spot.

The way the water is aerated and the way the current flows in the Redwood River makes it dangerous for crews to search for 15-year-old Thunder Brothersofall, who went missing there Monday.

Family and friends of the missing teenager learned Brothersofall was swept into the ferocious current Sunday after swimming nearby with friends.

“I screamed and I told my granddaughter and got ready and ran to the river,” said Joanne Kitto, his grandmother.

A nonstop search for the Redwood Valley High School sophomore continued Wednesday in the river and on the ground.

“A lot of sleepless nights, cuts and bruises going through the forest trying to find him,” said Amber Bird, his aunt. “Feeling like we can’t give up.”

The family prayed Wednesday in a ceremony. They burned what they call Brothersofall’s “life fire.”

“We keep it going for him so he can find us,” said Kitto.

“I have a son that’s about the same age and my heart goes out to the family every hour I’m out here,” said Chief Jason Cotner, of the Redwood Falls Police.

Search crews are manning the waters between two dams 24 hours a day, but with no safe place to launch a boat, most of the effort takes place by air, ground and by drone.

“We’re told that’s our best bed to find him is in that location,” said Cotner. “Starting tonight or tomorrow night, that’s our best window of opportunity where we can find him.”

Nobody in the Redwood Falls area will give up until Brothersofall is home.

“Anything is possible,” his grandmother said. “Anything.”

Crews will continue searching well into the night and a full ground and air search will take place again Thursday. Police again are warning the public against conducting their own search because the water remains high and the current erratic.