Teen Missing After Getting Swept Away in Current While Celebrating 14th Birthday: 'I Wish He Comes Back'

Tyreke, 14, was celebrating his birthday with his family at an Alabama beach when he was pulled away by a strong current

Tyreke Walker Teen Missing After Getting Swept Away in ‘Life-Threatening’ Current While Celebrating 14th Birthday
Photo: GoFundMe

A Baton Rouge family is pleading for help to find their missing 14-year-old, who was last seen being swept away by the waters at an Alabama beach.

Tyreke Walker was celebrating his birthday with his family in Orange Beach, Alabama on Saturday when he was pulled away by a heavy current, Fox 10 reports. Moments before, the warning flags at the beach were changed from red to double red, Orange Beach Fire Rescue said, per the outlet.

"I just wish that he comes back," his mother, Canhtam Nguyen, told Fox 10.

His father, Clint Walker, recalled to the publication that Tyreke told him, 'I'm sorry, I can't come back," as he tried to save Tyreke from the waters.

Walker also suffered excessive water inhalation. "I grabbed him, and I had him, but the water was just pulling us and pulling us," he said. "Honestly, I didn't think I was going to make it. I lost his grip. I kept getting thrown to the bottom of the water, and somehow, I made it to shore, and he didn't. I just wish I would've held on longer."

Orange Beach Fire Rescue later moved the pursuit for Tyreke from the waters to the beach, per Fox 10.

"Right now, our efforts are wanting to bring closure to the family as much as possible, but it's really a waiting game at this point trying to recover the child," Bruce Nelson, battalion chief, told the publication.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

"If there's any signs at all," said Tyreke's mother to Fox 10. "I know that there's a chance he might not even be on Orange Beach anymore, just please. I just want to see him. I just want him home with the family. I don't want that to be the last moment I saw him."

Walker revealed that a mystery swimmer also jumped in and tried to save Tyreke.

"I don't know the guy's name, but in the heat of the moment when everything was happening, there was another dude that went out to go save him," said Walker, according to the news outlet. "I just want to tell him personally thank you for trying to help save my son."

A GoFundMe to raise money for Tyreke's search, as well as help his parents cover expenses, has currently raised more than $10,000 of its $3,000 goal.

"Tragedy has hit our family and we are asking for help. Whether it be monetary donations, shares, and especially continued help, prayers, and support in finding Tyreke and bringing him home," the campaign reads, clarifying that social media reports of him being found are not accurate.

"Please do not rely on sources that are not the police or authorities. He is still out there. ❤️," it adds.

RELATED VIDEO: Grieving Mom Aims to Save Other Children After 3-Year-Old Son Drowns

The GoFundMe notes that the family, who resides in Baton Rouge, was spending the day in Orange Beach, AL for Tyreke's 14th birthday for what "has turned into a terrible unwanted stay" as his family now waits for "hopeful news that he has been found."

"Because of this, it can be quite costly and both parents will be out of work during this difficult time," the campaign says.

On Saturday, the Orange Beach Fire Department said on its Facebook page that it was searching for a swimmer who had gotten lost in the area.

"Our department is currently working a lost swimmer incident in the 26,000 block of Perdido Beach Boulevard. We have five units on scene with assistance from Orange Beach Police and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. Crews have moved from a water based search to a land based search as twilight approaches. Reports were an adolescent black male wearing blue shorts was missing. If you are in the area and see anything of note, please report it by calling 911," the department said on Saturday.

Giving an update on Sunday morning, the department added that its crews were still looking for the missing swimmer "until midnight with no results." They returned to the beach at 6:30 a.m. local time and planned to keep searching throughout the day. They later shared that on Sunday evening, crews had still not been able to find the missing swimmer.

The Orange Beach Fire Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

The Orange Beach Surf Rescue announced on Facebook that it would be flying double red flags into Monday, sharing a video of the beach.

Related Articles