By Elise Franco
The search for a missing 12-year-old boy ended in tragedy when his body was pulled from the Shenango River.
Mark Goodrich Jr. of Sharon was found in the river at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on the Pennsylvania side of the state line, down river from an abandoned railroad bridge where police believe he and others may have been swimming before he went missing, according to Mercer County 911.
Brookfield Police Chief Dan Faustino said security footage from Duferco Steel in Farrell had been turned over to police. He said the footage shows several boys jumping off an old rail bridge on the Ohio side of the state line into the river, but it was not known if Goodrich was among the group.
The video stopped recording and doesn’t show whether the boys got out of the water, Faustino said.
Faustino said Goodrich’s body was found by a passer-by very shortly before law enforcement planned to resume its search.
If ruled a drowning, the boy’s death will be the fourth drowning in the Mahoning and Shenango valleys in a span of seven days. A ruling is pending from the Erie (Pa.) County Coroner.
Faustino said Sharon and Southwest Regional police in Pennsylvania and Brookfield police in Ohio continue to investigate the death and will know more once autopsy results are complete.
Faustino said Sharon and Brookfield police had planned to continue searching at 9 a.m. Saturday, and the Trumbull County Dive Team was scheduled to return by 10 a.m.
“Obviously it’s not a happy thing because you always hope you’ll find him alive,” Faustino said. “There is closure for the family, that he was found.”
The boy’s father, Mark Goodrich Sr. reported his son missing Thursday evening, after not hearing from him for nearly 12 hours. This prompted the Trumbull County Dive Team, along with Brookfield, Mecca, Weathersfield and Sharon police and fire, to spend five hours on Friday searching the river banks along U.S. Route 62 and the Pennsylvania state line.
Faustino said police met with the boy’s family Friday evening and explained why they had to discontinue the search after dark.
“It was a difficult thing, and they wanted to know why we couldn’t keep looking,” he said. “Once we explained the dangers, especially to the dive team, they understood.”