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Boy’s body recovered after 21-hour search
John Howell
A crew stands by ready to assist.

Public safety officials have confirmed the identity of the body recovered off the waters of Conimicut Point as Javon Jimenez, 16, of Providence. Warwick Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director Edmund Armstrong announced the end of the search after the victim was discovered around 2 p.m. yesterday. Rhode Island State Police Trooper Charles Bergeron with K-9 Zeus, a water recovery K-9, had a “hit” in the area where the victim was recovered, not very far from where he went in. Warwick and Rhode Island State Police divers located the victim.

Warwick Police and Fire, Rhode Island State Police, the Coast Guard and the state DEM Police had been searching continuously for the teen since he was reported missing around 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Mayor Scott Avedisian, Police Colonel Stephen McCartney and Armstrong gathered after the boy was discovered to thank the public safety teams and expressed their condolences to the victim's family.

The cohort of search and rescue personnel worked through the night looking for Jimenez. According to Major Raymond Gallucci, the teen and a friend were walking the Conimicut sandbar Sunday afternoon when the incoming tide inundated the bar. The sandbar, which is marked as being treacherous, stretches more than a half-mile toward Conimicut Lighthouse.

“As they tried to make it back in, they walked off the bar,” said Gallucci.

The pair was carried north by the tide. One of the boys was later found by a kayaker and taken ashore. At about 5 p.m., Warwick Fire launched an inflatable craft from the beach and directed vessels it had stationed elsewhere along the city’s 38-mile shoreline. Joining the search was the Coast Guard at the same time, dispatching a vessel and a helicopter.

Petty Officer Second Class Timothy Mirandi at the Castle Hill station said the Coast Guard search involved six Coast Guard vessels and number of helicopters dispatched from Cape Cod.

Rescue personnel from Providence, Warren, East Providence and Bristol joined in the search that extended as far north as the Providence Hurricane Barrier, south to Patience Island and east to Papasquash Point in Bristol.

Gallucci said the police dive team was on site yesterday as was a State Police K-9 trained in water searches. He said the dog is trained to pick up a body scent from the water and works from a vessel.

On Sunday, Conimicut Point was packed with people out to enjoy some relief from the heat wave of last week or to fish. Later, they came to observe the commotion of the rescue search. Boats with flashing lights patrolled off shore as a parade of sail, powerboats and jet skis out on the bay for a summer afternoon got caught up in the story that was unfolding. They learned the unhappy ending yesterday afternoon.


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