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Tarentum police: Boy drowns in Bull Creek

| Saturday, June 17, 2017, 7:06 p.m.
MATTHEW MEDSGER | TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Police and fire crews responded to a report that a boy had disappeared into the waters of Bull Creek on Saturday, June 17, 2017. The boy had drowned.
MATTHEW MEDSGER | TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Crews search Bull Creek in Tarentum for the body of a boy who disappeared while playing in the water with friends on Saturday, June 17, 2017. The body of Isaiah Helenkamp, 10, was found in the water at about 7:15 p.m.
MATTHEW MEDSGER | TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Emergency crews wait for the body of Isaiah Helenkamp, 10, to be pulled from Bull Creek in Tarentum. Helenkamp drowned Saturday, June 17, 2017, while playing in the creek with friends.

A 10-year-old boy drowned in Tarentum on Saturday, police said.

Crews were dispatched to West Fourth Avenue shortly after 4:30 p.m. on a report that a boy disappeared while playing with friends in Bull Creek near Weleski Transfer Inc.

William Spencer, the boy's stepfather, identified the victim as Isaiah Helenkamp.

Brendan Wallace, of Tarentum, said he was fishing on the Allegheny when he heard police cars flying by. He followed the sirens to Bull Creek, where he saw dive crews in the water. He said that's when he knew something was wrong.

“I figured someone was hurt, never would have guessed it was a kid in the water. Talk about tragic: 10-year olds are supposed to have fun during the summer,” Wallace said.

Tarentum police Sgt. Ryan Hanford said he was the first on scene, and family members told him that the boy was not a strong swimmer. He was last seen wading under the Tarentum Bridge near the railroad bridge that crosses the creek.

Hanford said that he entered the water in search of the boy but was unable to locate him. Witnesses told him the boy had been standing in shallow water, but stepped into a deeper part of the creek and did not surface.

Murrysville dive crews were on scene and in the water for less than an hour before finding the boy's body shortly after 7 p.m.

Bull Creek flows into the Allegheny River.

Matthew Medsger is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4675, mmedsger@tribweb.com or via Twitter

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