CHICAGO (CBS) — Search teams returned to the Calumet River in the Hegewisch neighborhood Monday morning, looking for two men who disappeared when their car plunged into the water.
Police said, around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, officers found 26-year-old Christopher Henderson walking near 136th and Torrence, dripping wet and confused. He was taken to Advocate Trinity Hospital, where he later told police he had been a passenger in a car that went into the Calumet River at the Sunset Bay Marina.
Surveillance video confirmed a red Pontiac Grand Prix had driven into the river at the marina’s boat ramp.
Officers spent most of a rainy Sunday searching the Calumet River for the other two men who had been inside: 23-year-old Devontae Searcy, and his 26-year-old cousin Demetrius Hendricks.
Police called off their search Sunday night, but a CPD helicopter returned around 9:30 a.m. Monday, and Marine Unit boats returned a short time later to resume the recovery effort.
Relatives said the three men in the car were heading home from a party, and got lost in the pouring rain early Sunday morning.
Searcy’s father, Darrick Lacy, paced back and forth at the marina on Sunday, as police searched the water.
“To be honest with you, I’m kind of messed up. You know, I’ve been crying all morning,” Lacy said.
The Chicago Police Department Marine Unit recovered the car Sunday afternoon, but Searcy and Hendricks were not inside.
“I’m hoping for the best, that they still find the bodies,” Lacy said.
Henderson told his mother they got lost, but by the time they realized what happened, it was too late.
“The way that he described the car as it was going down, because they weren’t driving fast, when they were going under he said to his brothers, ‘Come on, y’all. We got to get out. The car going under,’” Veronica Henderson said.
Searcy’s sister, Armonee Searcy, said they drove down what appeared to be a normal street, but ended in a boat ramp they didn’t notice until it was too late.
“It looked like a regular street, so they thought they was just going up the street,” she said. “I just want them to come home safe and alive.”
Relatives said someone needs to be held accountable for what happened. They said the ramp should have been blocked off, especially in the pouring rain. They said they want a full investigation from police and city officials.