Crews suspend search for missing teen at Jordan Lake

Thursday, March 9, 2023
Search for missing teen continues at Jordan Lake
EMBED <>More Videos

Search crews gathered Wednesday to resume the search at Farrington Point boat ramp.

CHATHAM COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Search crews continued to scour Jordan Lake on Wednesday after a 15-year-old boy was reported missing Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday, the family's pastor identified the missing teen as Roberto Enrique Deleto.

The search continued into the evening, but was suspended for darkness about 6:10 p.m. Crews will resume searching Thursday morning around 6:30 a.m.

The crowd of family and friends of Roberto - who goes by Rob or Robert -- continued to grow as they lifted up prayers for a miracle in this situation.

Search crews gathered Wednesday to resume the search at Farrington Point boat ramp.

Robert and a friend were riding on personal watercraft when he began having mechanical problems. His friend went back to shore to get a rope to help pull the disabled vehicle back to shore.

But when the friend returned, Robert was missing. His family said a life vest was found next to the watercraft.

Chatham County deputies got a report of a missing person about 8 p.m. Tuesday night.

The search began at the Farrington Point Boat Ramp at 605 Farrington Point Road. Authorities launched a water search and a search of the shoreline. They've used boats, drones and other equipment in the search.

First responders have been looking for hours while his family hopes for the best.

"This is a difficult time for the family, especially not knowing what happened," said Chatham County Sheriff Mike Roberson. " We have multiple resources working on this and we're doing everything we can to locate the missing teenager and provide his family with answers."

Robert's pastor, Ricardo Correa, was trying his best to hold family and friends together for the best possible outcome.

"So driving over here, it's difficult because when you're the spiritual support, there's an emotional attachment, but there's not a history behind it," said Correa, who pastors Monte Sinai church. "You can simulate a 15-year-old kid, bright future. But when you know the potential of that bright future, regardless of your spirituality, it still hurts and it's difficult to deal with."

Correa said he had known Robert since the teen was a small child and said he was "very active."

"Personally, I'm trying to compress all my emotions at the moment because I need to lean on what I preach, which is trusting in the Lord," Correa said. "So, therefore, I need to be there for them if any case anything happens. I will probably weep with them or I will cry as well with them. But I'll be there for them."

ABC11 spoke to one woman at the scene, who is also a mother and is also trying to stay positive.

"If he was able to swim to shore, maybe he spent the night on the shore. Let's hope so. That would be great news. Let's hope and pray for the best," said Diane Siebrasse.

A helicopter was also deployed in the search, and a dog was brought out and "sniffed" four-five potential search areas. However, those areas were too large for search crews to focus on.

A family member said they were told by the sheriff's office that they don't believe Robert is in the woods.

Robert's family said he was last seen with no shirt, no shoes and black shorts. If you see him, please call the Chatham County Sheriff's Office.

MORE NEWS: 'Deepest condolences.' Children identified in deadly Cumberland County crash