What was meant to be a festive day ended in tragedy, after a 6-year-old boy went missing from a birthday party. A three-hour search occurred before they found the boy.
Brantley Griffin was one of the 75 children who attended the birthday party that day at a large resort filled with spring-fed pools and outdoor playgrounds.
The resort was a popular venue for birthday parties and large gatherings. It had a pavilion, several sleeping cabins, a kitchen, and a swimming area, and it was surrounded by trees and bushes.
At around three in the afternoon, Brantley’s family noticed he wasn’t among the kids playing in the playgrounds or swimming in the pools. They notified other party-goers and the resort staff to help them search the premises.
Soon after, the Geneva County Sheriff’s Office received an emergency call and joined the search. According to Brantley’s family, they last saw the 6-year-old playing in a playground close to the wooded area.
They Searched The Premises for Traces of the Boy
Initially, they searched the woods for traces of the boy. They kept their assumptions wide, thinking Brantley might have been abducted.
The police searched surveillance videos to see whether someone had taken Brantley away. They also used drones to explore the woods in hopes of seeing the boy, to no avail.
The Geneva County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain was also at the scene to provide spiritual support to the worried family, those at the party, and even the search team.
The Sheriff’s office and Opp Fire and Rescue then turned to the waters. They dispatched a team of divers to do a water search in the resort’s pools.
At this point, Brantley’s family and the rest of the party-goers were praying for a miracle. They didn’t want the day to end badly and clung to each other for support and much-needed strength.
The Geneva County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain was also at the scene to provide spiritual support to the worried family, those at the party, and even the search team. It was a challenging day for everyone; they needed all the help they could get.
They Found the Boy After Three Hours of Searching
After a three-hour search, divers found Brantley’s body in one of the pools a few minutes past six PM. He had tragically drowned and had no floatation devices on him.
Brantley’s family confirmed that the young boy didn’t know how to swim. While he was wearing a floatation device that day, he didn’t have it when he was found.
The Sheriff’s Office was glad to have given the Griffin family closure, but it wasn’t a successful operation, given an innocent boy’s life was cut short. It was heartbreaking for everyone involved, and everyone had hoped for a better ending.
The Sheriff was the first to release a statement about how they wished the tragedy didn’t end the way it did. He said:
“You’ve got officers working the scene [that] have children and grandchildren. You got volunteers over there, and everyone there wants to reunite a child with a family.”
The resort’s business owners refused to make a statement and banned media from entering their property to cover the case.
People Expressed Their Thoughts on Social Media
Shortly after the tragedy, Brantley’s loved ones started sharing their thoughts on social media. A man named Tim Pollacheck expressed how heartbroken he was over the loss. “We were honored to be a part of your life,” he wrote. “We will be praying for everyone who loves you. You will be greatly missed.”
The late boy’s uncle, Michael Griffin, shared the news with his Instagram followers. He called it “absolutely heartbreaking” and asked for prayers during such a trying time.
A family member named Josh Graves set up a GoFundMe account for Brantley. He asked for help raising money for the young boy’s funeral expenses.
“Please help our family raise money for this unexpected tragedy. Words can’t describe how we are feeling,” he wrote. After two days of raising money, they garnered $4,442. Ninety-one people donated to the GoFundMe page—the organizer already disabled new donations from pouring in.
People shared their sympathies with Brantley’s grieving loved ones. “I was reading this hoping there was a happy ending. My thoughts and positive energy, and prayers to the family, friends, and all that helped. I am glad y’all have offered counseling services as secondhand trauma sneaks up on you. This was not an easy day for anyone,” a Facebook reader wrote.
“My heart is absolutely broken for the family and for all of you that assisted in the search for this child yesterday. As a parent of young children, this hits especially hard. Praying for you all in the days to come,” another added.
People couldn’t help but empathize with Brantley’s loved ones. Those with young children understood how difficult it’s been for all involved and offered their prayers and support during such a difficult time.
The death of a loved one is never easy. Just recently, actor Robert DeNiro mourned the loss of his grandson, who was found lifeless at home.