CHICAGO (CBS) — Bad weather has suspended Tuesday’s search for the last missing victim of a North Carolina tubing accident.
Four died, four were rescued, and several of them are from the greater Chicago area.READ MORE: With COVID-19 Omicron Variant Cases Being Identified In U.S., Local Public Health Officials Are On High Alert
CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot spoke with the family. The child’s aunt said it’s her faith and family, that’s getting her through this difficult time.
She spoke after attending her brother-in-law’s funeral, one of the four victims found so far.
“They’re recovered, but only a couple of them,” said Raven Winfrey.
Winfrey described the unimaginable: Waiting to hear about the fate of your loved ones.
“The sad news is when you find out that the body is a 7-year-old little boy that you have to confirm is indeed your nephew and it’s difficult,” Winfrey said.
Winfrey’s 7-year-old nephew Isaiah Crawford, her sister 27-year-old Bridish Crawford, 14-year-old niece Sophia Wilson, and 31-year-old brother-in-law Antonio Ramon all died in a tubing accident in the Dan River, in Eden, North Carolina last Wednesday.
Winfrey’s sister and nephew moved from LaPorte, Indiana to North Carolina, just four months ago.
They originally called Palatine home. Winfrey’s mother set up a GoFundMe page, to help with Bridish and Isaiah’s funeral expenses.
“The plan is to bring Isaiah and British home to Palatine where services will be held for them both and the plan is to bury them with the Villano family in Indiana,” Winfrey said.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Early Morning Showers; Mild Day Friday
Four of Winfrey’s family members survived.
“We have to fight and we have to stay strong. Not only for us, but for the rest of our family.”
Irene Villano is Winfrey’s 18-year-old niece. She said all nine family members never realized they were heading towards a dam, when they were in the river tubing.
The teen said she watched as her mother, father and cousins, disappeared out of sight. Then she followed. She and her father tried to rescue her mother.
“We couldn’t do anything. It was already too late,” Villano said. “And then I remember I looked and I just seen my dad and my brother and my cousin and I was so happy. I thought I was alone. I thought I was by myself.”
The four survivors would cling to a wall of the dam, until they were rescued, more than 19 hours later.
Teresa Villano, Winfrey’s sister-in-law, is still missing. She’s seven months pregnant.
Duke Energy, which operates the dam, put up new warning signs Tuesday along the river.
There were two signs indicating there’s a dam, but those signs didn’t indicate a warning. The new signs say the words warning and danger.MORE NEWS: Jussie Smollett Trial: Defense Attorney Calls For Mistrial And Accuses Judge Of Lunging At Her; Judge Denies Claims And Motion