Recovery efforts continue as they drain the canal to find the missing 4-year old boy at Jean Lafitte National Park


Marrero, La. (WGNO)– The search continues for 4-year old Ellis Baudean from Marrero who has autism, and fell into the swampy waters at Jean Lafitte National Park on Thursday.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said, “We want to give the family closure.”

To give the family closure they completed this environmentally-safe made out of clay this morning.

“We are going to let it settle and add more clay material if there are any gaps,” the Sheriff stated.

Now that the dam is built the volunteer crews cleaned the duckweed and algae before they could pump the water out to drain the canal.

“The concern is that the duckweed would be on top of the sediment below so we have to sift through every log to see what’s underneath,” Sheriff Lopinto said.

By clearing the duckweed it provides better visibility for crews in their search.

“They did a phenomenal job of getting it off the water. That way when the water goes down then it makes it 100 times easier,” Sheriff Lopinto said.

Two industrial water pumps were brought in to drain the canal. By noon, pumps began running at 20 percent. An hour later the water receded about 14 inches. By 4 p.m. the water had receded 48 inches.

“We did a rough estimate. We are looking at two-million gallons of water. We are going to execute this plan. It is a well-thought out plan, but I still feel it will be a difficult search,” Sheriff Lopinto said.

Sheriff Lopinto said they have reason to believe the boy’s body is here.

“Based on our knowledge, when a drowning victim drowns they stay in the same area,” he said.

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