Saunders County authorities Wednesday found the body of a missing 11-year-old boy who apparently disappeared while fishing about a mile north of Wahoo.
Bayden Martinez was found between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Wednesday. Authorities pulled his body from the spillway about 11 a.m.
Saunders County Sheriff Kevin Stukenholtz said that the boy's mother reported him missing Tuesday about 11 p.m. He said the Wahoo boy had gone fishing by himself, most likely in Sand Creek, a tributary for Lake Wanahoo.
Stukenholtz said it appears that the boy was in the spillway fishing. His leg got caught in a 12-inch concrete suction tube and he drowned when he was pulled into the water.
Stukenholtz said there was a similar instance a few years ago when an adult employee of the natural resources district was stuck in the tube. The employee was rescued, but it took several hours to free him. “The suction in unbelievable, ” Stukenholtz said.
Bayden, who has two younger siblings, had left home without his mother's permission. He had asked to go fishing but was told the family had other plans.
“According to his mother, he wanted to go fishing and did go around 5 o'clock,” Stukenholtz said. “The Wahoo Fire Department and law enforcement began looking for him about 11, but he was not found.”
An Omaha Police Department helicopter and searchers on foot looked for the youth late Tuesday and early Wednesday, he said.
Wahoo Schools Superintendent Galen Boldt said Bayden had just completed the 5th grade at Wahoo Elementary School.
“He was a delightful young boy,” Boldt said. And “one of the best big brothers anyone could ever imagine,” he said.
Boldt said Bayden was a protector to his brother in kindergarten and his sister, who was a preschooler. He said the brothers could be seen walking to school every day.
Bayden, Boldt said, worried that upon his move to middle school next school year, his baby brother wouldn't have someone to walk him to school each day.
“We want people to understand just how special he was,” Boldt said.
He said the school's crisis team was meeting to plan an appropriate course of action following news of Bayden's death.
World-Herald staff writers Jay Withrow and Samantha Womack contributed to this report.