Some argument between Mom and Aunt Kay over some other thing spilled over into an arguing over the car I was trying to sell to one of them. I'm getting drunken calls in the middle of the night, and I'm trying to mediate the argument and make sure that my interests (getting the car out of my name) are covered. I thought it was more of the same when I got a call from Mom last night. Not even close.
The call I got from my Mom is that Aunt Kay called her, told her my cousin's boyfriend died, and hung up. Mom called my brother, no answer. Mom called my other cousin, got an angry response and hung up on. I have no idea what that is about, but then she called me and asked me to find out what was going on. She was worried that my brother might not be okay. She is like me (or I am like her, whatever) in that a tiny bit of bad information rolls around in my brain and snowballs until I panic over all the possibilities. This put me in the position of calling my aunt, who was in the middle of a tragedy, in the middle of trying to calm my distraught cousin, and try to get information. I felt like a piece of shit.
My cousin, her boyfriend, and my baby brother are all about 17/18 and good friends. I am assuming the three of them were together last night when the boyfriend drowned in the river. Apparently, the thing to do is wade out to the sandbars and hang out. He stepped into a hole, I guess on the way out.
It could have been any of them, it could have been all of them...
I keep picturing the two kids, napping together on the couch while I was visiting. I have never seen two people so in love, so comfortable with one another.
Mom asked me if they had found him yet. I stammered, I choked. There was no way I could have asked that question, even if I had thought about the possibility. No way on Earth I would have found the words.
Video from KQ2 News
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
NODAWAY, Mo. — Authorities believe swift river currents contributed to the drowning of a Skidmore teen Monday in the Nodaway River.
The drowning occurred near the intersection of Andrew County roads 400 and 459 just west Nodaway, Mo.
Savannah Volunteer Fire Department personnel recovered the body of Eli Stiens, 19, at 7:19 p.m. Monday, said Bryan Atkins, the chief deputy for the Andrew County Sheriff’s Department.
According to a Missouri State Water Patrol report, the victim went camping with friends on a sandbar. He went swimming in the river, which had a depth of about 7 feet to 10 feet. The report stated that friends said he was approximately 25 feet from the sandbar when he began having problems. His friends attempted a rescue but had to let him go because he was pulling them under at about 4:30 p.m. Monday. Mr. Stiens went under and didn’t resurface.
The fire department launched two boats shortly after 5 p.m. Monday to drag the river, Mr. Atkins said. It was too late for a rescue, he said.