ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA (WVUE) - The search continues Monday morning for a mother of three who went missing on the Pearl River following a boating accident.
Jonie Morgan, 31, was on a boat with her three children and boyfriend, 41-year-old Terry O'Keefe Jr, when the boat capsized. The incident occurred around 5:30 p.m. Saturday on the Pearl River Canal near Bush.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries believes O'Keefe could not start the boat and went over a lock in the Pearl River. Officials say 16-year-old Leyton Page was fishing nearby, saw the overturned boat and went to help.
He found Morgan and her three children in the water. The children, two boys (ages 8 and 6) and a 4-year-old girl, were wearing life jackets. Morgan was not.
As Page attempted to help the four in the water, officials say his boat flipped as well. The teen says he used his boat as a buoy and the boys climbed on his shoulders.
Morgan was holding her 4-year-old daughter as the current pulled them away.
"There's like two feet from the waterfall. All I can figure she got too close to that waterfall and it sucked her down," Page said.
Rescuers found the 4-year-old girl alive under the capsized boat. Officials say she had been under the boat for about 30 minutes but was able to breathe.
The body of O'Keefe was discovered Sunday morning. Officials continue to search the river for Morgan.
The family says Morgan's daughter is still being treated at a hospital. Her sons weren't injured. Dive teams are using K-9 dogs and sonar equipment to look for her.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the families impacted by this incident.