Body Found in Mississippi River Identified as Missing Teen Who Tried to Save 2 Sisters: 'Heartbreaking'

Family members say Kevin Poole, 15, went into the water to try and rescue 14-year-old Brandy Wilson, as well as her sister, 8-year-old Ally Wilson

Kevin Poole
Kevin Poole. Photo: Facebook

The body of a 15-year-old boy has been identified as Kevin Poole, one of the three children who went missing in the Mississippi River on April 23.

A spokesperson for the New Orleans Police Department, which did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment, said that the teen's body was found in the river around 8:30 a.m. on Monday, reported CBS affiliate WWL-TV.

Poole's mother told the outlet that her son's identity was confirmed by the Orleans Parish Coroner's Office.

"Today's news about the recovery of 15-year-old Kevin Poole Jr.'s body from the Mississippi River is absolutely heartbreaking," New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell wrote in a statement on Twitter.

"No parent should have to endure the tragedy of losing a child. Words can never be enough in such a devastating moment," Cantrell continued. "​​My thoughts and my prayers are with his family at this time as they will be for some time to come."

Poole was last seen on April 23, when he visited a park near the river with 14-year-old Brandy Wilson and her sister, 8-year-old Ally Wilson, WWL-TV previously reported.

During their visit, Brandy slipped and fell into the water, prompting Poole — a student and football player at LB Landry High School in New Orleans — and Ally to enter the water in an attempt to help her, per the outlet. Ultimately, all three were pulled down by the river's current.

The sisters have not yet been found.

authorities finding the bodies of 3 kids who went missing after ending up in the Mississippi river
Ally Berry Wilson and Brandy Wilson. gofundme

Kevin was remembered by loved ones as "brave" and "selfless."

"Kevin often dreamed of playing football for an SEC school someday and pursuing a career in coastal management or environmental stewardship," read a message shared on a GoFundMe to help cover memorial and funeral costs.

"Sadly we lost Kevin around 5 p.m. Saturday," continued the message, which explained that Brandy, his girlfriend, "slipped and fell." Then, her little sister "went in after her trying to save her." In an attempt to help them both, Kevin went into the "turbulent waters...but ended up being swept up in its strong current as well."

Kevin's 5-year-old brother, who was also present, then went to find help, per the GoFundMe.

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The U.S. Coast Guard suspended their search and rescue efforts on April 24.

"The decision to suspend any search and rescue case is never easy but considering the extensive search efforts of our Coast Guard men and women, in conjunction with other response agencies, I've made the difficult decision to suspend our active search for the three children," Capt. Kelly Denning, Coast Guard Sector New Orleans commander said in a press release. "Our prayers are with the families during this difficult time."

However, the New Orleans Police Department and a private dive business continued to search for the three children, WWL-TV reported.

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Allen Barry, the girls' father, previously told the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate that the Saturday outing marked the first time the sisters were permitted to leave the house by themselves.

Mother Octavia Wilson, who has a heart condition, previously told WWL-TV that her girls went out to play in order to give her a break.

"My daughter said she was trying to give me a break," she said. "I don't need a break, I need my children."

A GoFundMe has also been created help support Brandy and Ally's parents, as well as the sisters' five siblings.

"Our 'Two [Angels]' are on a journey to heaven," read a message from their family on the fundraising page. "Being around them you'll know they were full of love and life and always ready to have fun."

Last week, loved ones gathered together for a balloon release near the levee where the children were last seen, per WWL-TV.

"They were full of life," Berry said, according to the outlet. "It was always joy with me and my kids."

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