LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Crews started searching the Ohio River at dawn Tuesday morning for missing 2 1/2-year-old Christina Norris. Police say they're becoming more concerned about the missing toddler, but that they're not giving up hope.
Crews searched until dark along the Ohio River in the 16000 block of Dixie Beach Road before breaking for the night.
"I think it's a very traumatic period for all those involved, said Dwight Mitchell, a Louisville Metro Police spokesperson.
The frantic search continued on the water and from the sky for Christina, whom neighbors describe as your typical toddler.
Metro police say Christina was on the banks of the Ohio with her mother, stepfather and other relatives when the morning took a terrible turn.
"... said the child saw something floating in the river and pointed it out and they said 'yeah, that's nice,' and turned their heads and turned back around and she was gone," said Scott Littrell, a neighbor.
Littrell said he tried to tell his new neighbors the Ohio River was not a safe place for kids to play.
"They just moved in a week ago," Luttrell said," and we all have described not to take the children down there because the river can be treacherous."
Luttrell said the river is up a couple of feet at the present time and there is a current.
Rusty Gaddie, the owner of a nearby business, said that his employees came up and said they heard somebody screaming. Gaddie said he decided to go see what was wrong and were about halfway down the hill when they heard firefighters coming.
Although the area is used for recreation and fishing, Gaddie said the area is a bad one for kids to play in the water.
The Ohio River is dangerous," Gaddie said, "Full of current, especially when it's high. You don't get in it when it's high.
Everyone is praying for a happy end to the day. Littrell said, "I hope they find her with a sunburn and really thirsty."
The search for Christina, which is being led by LMPD homicide detectives, will resume at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Although homicide detectives are handling the case, Metro police say foul play is not suspected in Christina's disappearance.
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