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Bodies of 2 men from Milwaukee storm drain search recovered in Wisconsin river

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Posted at 1:03 PM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 14:03:53-04

MILWAUKEE UBAH ALI, Julia Marshall — Days after crews found the body of a 10-year-old boy who went missing during a storm, officials in Wisconsin have recovered the bodies of two men who were swept into a drainage ditch during a severe storm earlier this week.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner announced Thursday that the bodies were recovered from the Kinnickinnic River three days after the body of a 10-year-old Muhammad A. Rashidullah was found.

According to a report from the medical examiner, Rashidullah chased a soccer ball into the drainage ravine when he was swept away. His father, Rashidullah Bin Abdul Hashim, saw him struggling to get out and ran to the ravine, got in, and gave his son a bear hug.

The boy's neighbor, Zakaria Bin Gonumeah, saw the two struggling to get out and attempted to make a human chain to bring them back to shore. He was then swept into the current as well.

The three did not come back out.

First responders were called, and officials began their search.

On Tuesday, Fire Chief Aaron Lipski confirmed first responders found Rashidullah's body near 16th and Cleveland, nearly two miles from where he fell. However, there was no sign of the two men.

Officials continued their search until storms entered the area Wednesday night, forcing them to stop for the day.

The recovery efforts resumed Thursday morning, and shortly before 9 a.m., crews received word that a body was found in the river.

TMJ4 News reached out to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office, who said they were called to the scene.

Then, shortly before noon, officials responded to a second location near the Kinnickinnic River for another body in the water.

The medical examiner confirmed two bodies were recovered, belonging to the two men officials had been searching for.

According to an investigation report from the medical examiner, Gonumeah was found near 1st and Becher, while Rashidullah was found outside Barnacle Bud's Restaurant. Someone walking by spotted the body and informed an employee at the restaurant, who then called 911.

Both men were around four miles from where they initially entered the water.

Shaukhat Ali, the executive director of the Rohingya American Society, said it's a tragic ending to a horrific accident that has left two families grieving.

Ali said while it's been a difficult four days for the family, it gives them some peace of mind now that all men have been located.

He adds that all three will be buried on Friday at the Arlington Cemetery following a Muslim prayer.

Ali said while the family is preparing for the three burials, he's taking steps to ensure that something like this doesn't happen again by providing water safety training.

"We are going to encourage everyone in our community to go get swimming lessons," Ali said.

Ubah Ali, Julia Marshall, and web staff first reported this story for TMJ4.