A 10-year-old boy who died in the Big Sioux River saved one of his younger siblings who had fallen into the water, family members said. The body of Ricky Lee Sneve was recovered Saturday night, Lincoln County sheriff's officials said.
His mother, Nicole Eufers, told the Argus Leader that Ricky was out on the river with his dad and siblings when several fell into the water near Hudson, in southeastern South Dakota.
Eufers said Ricky jumped in to save his sister Chevelle and got her to shore, but when his father and siblings turned around, Ricky was missing.
"Ricky gave his life trying to do what he knew was best," his uncle wrote in a post on GoFundMe. As of Wednesday morning, the site had raised for than $27,000 for the family.
Ricky Lee SneveGOFUNDME
Lincoln County Sheriff chief deputy Chad Brown, who responded to the scene, told CBS affiliate KELO-TV that three boats several dive teams searched for the boy. It took four hours for crews to recover the body of the 10-year-old.
"The river may look calm and fun to play in, but it's very important that people have life jackets on, are supervised, especially kids, because no parent should have to go through something like this. It's tragic," Brown said.
The boy's father, Chad Sneve, said his son was the type of boy to do anything for anyone. Ricky was smart, dedicated and conservative, Sneve said.
"He was generous, kind and special in more ways than I can begin to explain," Chad Sneve said. "He was my everything, and he touched everyone he encountered."
He was the oldest of Eufers' four children and had one step-sibling.
"He taught me how to love and appreciate life. He never failed to amaze me," Eufers said.