Authorities in Corning, Monday, released additional information about a double drowning incident that took place Saturday in a farm pond near Prescott. During a press conference held the at Corning Fire Station, Emergency Management Director/Corning Fire Chief Donnie Willett and Adams County Sheriff Alan Johannes said they received a call from Tom and Lisa Frey, of Prescott, at around 5:34-p.m., with regard to their adopted, missing boys, ages eight and nine. The brothers had been playing on the family farm at 1623 Vanilla Avenue, when they failed to return to the home.
Corning Fire Chief/EMA Mgr. Donnie Willett (Left) & Adams County Sheriff Alan Johannes.
Willett said the parents discovered a hole in the ice and called 9-1-1. Numerous emergency crews were notified, including Adams County Fire & Rescue, the Corning, Prescott and Creston Fire and Rescue Departments, Deputies with the Union County Sheriff’s Office, and Union County Rescue, the Iowa State Patrol and the Midwest Regional Dive Team. But it was a dive team from the Creston Fire Department equipped with ice water recovery gear, who found the boys. Some of the boys’ clothing was found on top of the ice near the hole in the center of the pond.
The hole was located about 20-yards from shore. The body of one of the boys was found under the ice. The other body was found about 20-minutes later. Willett said the ice near the shore was about 2 ½ inches thick, but near the center, where the boys fell in, it was so thin you could punch a whole in it with your fist. The water at the point where they fell in was about 10-to 12-feet. Resuscitation efforts began immediately, and the boys were flown from the scene by helicopter to a trauma center.
Sheriff Johannes had some advice for anyone thinking about venturing onto the ice at this time of year. Make sure the ice is thick enough. In order for it to be strong enough to support a person, there should be a number of days of below freezing temperatures that will enable the ice to form a thick layer.
Powers Funeral Home in Creston has identified the boys as Nate and T-J Frey. Funeral arrangements are currently pending. The boys’ father owns the Creston Livestock Auction. The family has requested privacy from the public and the media.