Child’s body recovered from river ID’d as 7-year-old Lucas Rosales

A child’s body recovered Saturday evening from the Great Miami River in downtown Dayton was confirmed Tuesday to be the 7-year-old boy who went missing more than two weeks ago while fishing.

Lucas Emmanuel Rosales was described as “a vibrant and cherished little boy” whose “infectious laughter, bright smile and loving nature touched the lives of all who knew him,” according to his obituary.

Visitation is from 10 a.m. to noon Monday at Woodland Cemetery Mausoleum Chapel followed by his funeral at noon at the chapel at Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum, 118 Woodland Ave. in Dayton.

The family is asking for assistance to help cover Lucas’ final expenses through a tribute fund on the Schlientz & Moore Funeral Home website.

Lucas, a Dayton Public Schools student, was reported missing April 29 after he was last seen around 6:48 p.m. while fishing with his family near Harshman Road and Eastwood MetroPark in Dayton.

Multiple police and fire departments and search organizations have spent hundreds of hours searching hundreds of acres of land and water from the Mad and Great Miami rivers in Dayton down to West Carrollton over the past two weeks.

Multiple boats, thermal imaging devices, underwater and aerial drones, SONAR devices and K-9 teams were among resources used. Teams also drained a pond and installed a temporary dam on the Mad River to help in the recovery of Lucas.

Around 5:40 p.m. Saturday, a 911 caller reported finding a body in the Great Miami River near West Riverview and West Monument avenues downtown. Dayton police and fire crews responded and recovered the body determined to be a juvenile boy.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office on Tuesday confirmed the boy was Lucas, and that his cause and manner of death remain pending.

Dayton police said no foul play was suspected. The family has been cooperating and was involved in the searches for Lucas.

Before Lucas went missing, his father and sister, Augustine Rosales and Da’najiah Wakefield, said they warned Lucas to back up from the water and told him it was dangerous. He left them to join other family members so he wouldn’t scare the fish, they said.

His mother, Amanda Rosales, said May 2 while she was with search crews at Eastwood MetroPark that she wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone.

“You sit here waiting for him to come running out or something, or for someone to tell you that they found him,” she said. “When you’re just sitting here for hours upon hours and nobody’s found him yet, it’s just torture.”

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