Search for Father and Son, 5, Ends as Both Are Found Dead after Missing for Almost a Week

Olowokandi Fiyin
Apr 01, 2021
11:10 P.M.

A father and son who were declared missing at the Neuse River in North Carolina for almost a week have been found dead. The father-son duo was on a fun fishing trip when disaster struck.


The search for a North Carolina father and his son has unfortunately come to an end after their bodies were found. 38-year-old Sterling Holman and his 5-year-old son Braylin Holman were on a fishing trip when things went south.

According to witnesses who spoke to ABC7, little Braylin fell into the Neuse River, and Sterling followed after in a bid to rescue his boy. The source said that bystanders called 911, with a boater flowing in their direction to help them.

A search and rescue team with their helicopter | Photo: Pixabay

A search and rescue team with their helicopter | Photo: Pixabay

The witness told the dispatch that the current of the river took the baby away. By the time search crews came on the scene, both Sterling and Braylin were nowhere to be found. Authorities began looking for them with helicopters.


The Wayne County EMS, Goldsboro Water Rescue, Arr-Mac Water Response, Wayne County Sheriff's aviation team, alongside 20 to 30 family members, were on the scene to help with the search.

A spokesman for the sheriff's office explained that a witness shared that the river was moving at about three to four miles, and the depth of the water body was around 10 feet, making it a dangerous spot.

A spokesperson for the local sheriff's office, Joel Gille, expressed his sympathy towards the Holman family.


The father-son duo went missing on March 24, and a GoFundMe account was set up shortly to support Sterling's family. The page described the deceased as a doting father-of-five who was the sole supporter of the family.

At the time, a cousin to the father-son pair, Rasheda Bryant, revealed that Braylin and Sterling loved to bond over fishing. She explained that the duo was full of joy, and little Braylin was thrilled at the thought of going fishing the previous night.


Of the $50,000 goal set, more than $11,00 has been raised. A spokesperson for the local sheriff's office, Joel Gille, expressed his sympathy towards the Holman family in a statement. He said:

"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."

Larry Pierce, the Wayne County Sheriff, in a press release, appreciated the several members of the community who assisted the search team with food and donations. Our prayers are with the Holman family.

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