Search For Missing Piedmont Boy Expands Into 2 New Counties


Wednesday, May 25th 2011, 5:17 pm
By: News 9


Jennifer Pierce, News 9

PIEDMONT, Oklahoma -- Search crews have expanded the search into two more counties for a Piedmont boy swept away by a tornado Tuesday.

Ryan Hamil has been missing since a tornado hit his neighborhood near Falcon Lake.  Law enforcement and volunteers have been searching the area around the lake, but more than 24 hours later there's still no sign of the three year old.  Crews are now expanding their search from Canadian County into Logan and Kingfisher counties.

Ryan, his mother Catherine Hamil, five-year-old sister Cathleen and 15-month old brother Cole huddled in a bathtub in the family's home when the May 24 tornado hit.  The massive tornado was so strong it ripped the children from their mother's arms.

Catherine told her sister, Jennifer Hill, she didn't remember much after that.

"I don't think she even remembers where she woke up," said Hill.  "She said that she had all the kids in there and she had grabbed Ryan's mattress and she laid down over them and put the mattress over them.  And she was listening over the radio and it was saying that it was over Sorghum Mill and she thought, okay, it's past us. A minute later it was on them."

Emergency crews found Catherine, Kathleen and Cole and rushed them to the hospital. Cole died Wednesday morning.  Catherine, who's five-months-pregnant, and Kathleen, both had to undergo surgery.