Toledo police and firefighters Tuesday continued to search for a man and his son who were last seen Monday in Cullen Park in Point Place, although officials are saying they believe the two have drowned.
Shondale Galloway, 33, and his son, Shondale Galloway, Jr., 12, were last seen by witnesses sometime Monday fishing in Maumee Bay. They were standing chest-deep in the water, firefighters said, casting out in the area between Grassy Island and Point Place.
Toledo Fire Chief Mike Wolever said about 8:45 a.m. that he believed the two had drowned and later Tuesday morning, Toledo police using two cadaver dogs zeroed in on what Chief Wolever called "an area of interest" in the water near where the pair was least seen.
The search for the father and son started after Mr. Galloways wife Monday night found her 3-year-old and 5-year-old sons in a tent that the family had pitched at the tip of Cullen Parks peninsula, near Grassy Island, police said.
Chief Wolever said the father and son had been fishing within sight of their campsite.
The mother had expected the rest of her family to return home Monday evening. When they didnt arrive, she made her way back to the campsite, found the two younger boys alone, and called police.
The two children told police they had awakened to find their father and brother gone.
The names of the younger children and the mother were not released. The family lives on North Erie Street near Manhattan Boulevard in Toledo, police said.
The chief said he was told that the father and son both knew how to swim.
"The focus now is obviously to help the family get closure. Its giving our guys motivation [but] its never easy looking for kids. Were just trying to get our job done," Chief Wolever said.
A spokesman for Toledo Public Schools said records show that Shondale Galloway Jr., this June completed the fifth grade at Sherman Elementary in central Toledo.
The family had gone to the park on Sunday and the wife had last seen her family about 7:30 p.m. Sunday when she left to go home for the night. Among the witnesses who saw the pair fishing was a Lucas County sheriffs deputy, Chief Wolever said.
An area search was started Monday night with a foot search of the peninsula and then was expanded late Monday and on Tuesday to include a helicopter and Coast Guard boats and a Toledo fire rescue boat, complete with divers and a canine unit. Representatives from the Lucas County sheriffs department, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the Washington Township Fire Department also assisted in the search, which started Monday night with a foot search of the peninsula.
After sunrise Tuesday, the peninsula search was repeated and Grassy Island also was searched by foot. The path from the parks parking lot requires a 20-minute walk to reach the tip, strewn with rocks and overhung with dense foliage.
Chief Wolever said the river shallows near Cullen Park can be deceiving.
"The [river] bottom is very uneven there. Weve had cases like that when kids stepped in a hole, slipped into the channel, and theyre gone," the chief said.
"The biggest lesson here is respecting the water. You can never disrespect the water. Know your limitations. A lot of people dont."