Lifestyle

Father and Son Die After Dad Tried to Save 5-Year-Old Who Fell Into Water During Fishing Trip

A North Carolina man and his 5-year-old son were found dead this week after they both went missing during a fishing trip, PEOPLE confirms.

Sterling Holman, 38, jumped into the Neuse River in Wayne County in a rescue attempt after his son Braylin fell into the water, the Wayne County Sheriff's Office told ABC 7.

"The baby fell in the water and his daddy jumped in after him," a witness said in a dispatch call to 911, per the outlet. "The current pushed the baby away. The daddy jumped in the water behind him and our buddy was coming back with the boat to load our boat up and he went to go get him."

At the time, a GoFundMe page was set up to help with the search of the father and son pair. 

Their bodies were found on Wednesday.

According to the GoFundMe, Holman "was the sole support of [his wife] and her 5 children."

"It's definitely a tough situation," Wayne County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Joel Gillie told ABC 7. "Our hearts are out with the family, of course. They're going through a lot right now. But also the witnesses that were out here yesterday. It is a tough scene."

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"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family as they deal with this difficult situation. I would also like to thank the many citizens and businesses who brought food and donations to our responders during this extended response," Wayne County Sheriff Larry Pierce said in a press release.

In the press release, obtained by PEOPLE, Sgt. Pierce thanked the many agencies who assisted in the search, which included fire departments and emergency management agencies from several different counties.

Spokesperson Gillie also tells PEOPLE that the "Wayne County EMS [were] on scene throughout the entire response" and "deserves a big shout."

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