Clay dam breaks during search for missing boy

Jefferson Parish

MARRERO, La. (WGNO) — The latest plan to search for a missing four-year-old boy is over.

Tuesday night, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said the clay dam built to drain an area of a canal at Jean Lafitte National Park broke.

The Sheriff’s Office said about half of the water from the search area was drained before water quickly filled the area again.

“We had been hoping to be able to pump out more of the water, but we were able to check the banks very well. We would have liked to get more, but we got what we could,” Captain Jason Rivarde said.

Ellis Baudean went missing Thursday. Baudean is non-verbal and has autism.

While the water was low, the search crew did check the root systems along the bank, alligator dens along the waterline, culverts, and overhanging banks that were previously underwater.

Rivarde said, “The search is not ending and recovery efforts will resume their passive status for the next few days.”

The Sheriff’s Office will continue to search by boat and will use sonar equipment again. 

In a post on Facebook, the Sheriff’s Office said, “While we were ultimately unable to complete our recovery mission, we will continue to be in the area for the next few days to ensure the site is returned to the pristine condition it was in.  We cannot thank enough the numerous volunteers, B&S Equipment, the National Park Service, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the LDWF for their assistance.”

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