Missing Piedmont Toddler Found Dead


Wednesday, May 25th 2011, 3:23 pm
By: News 9


Jacqueline Sit, News 9

PIEDMONT, Oklahoma -- A toddler who was missing in Piedmont following Tuesday's deadly tornadoes has been found dead.

Ryan Hamil was swept away May 24 when a tornado hit his neighborhood near Falcon Lake.  Law enforcement and volunteers participated in a huge search to locate the boy, using helicopters, dogs, and boats.

Ryan was found Thursday morning by a search and rescue team from Texas.

"For anybody who's a parent, I got two sons so I can tell you the scene we had this morning when the father and the grandparents came to the shoreline reunited with the child was very emotional," Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Chris West said.

Hank Hamil, Ryan's father, gave an emotional thanks to everyone who participated in the search for his son and who prayed for his family.

"I just want to thank everybody for helping and being there," said Hamil. "It's a bad deal. I lost both of my boys. I was hoping we'd find Ryan alive today. Ryan was my little buddy. Cole was, too. I love them both."

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.

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

Catherine and her unborn baby are doing well.  Cathleen remains in critical condition with trauma to her head.

Related:

Tragedy Account Set Up For Hamil Family

Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak May 24, 2011