Muslim community stays hopeful in search for their missing friends in drainage search

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- It has been two full days since a 10-year-old boy lost his life falling into a drainage ditch in Milwaukee. The search continued today, on June 15, for the boy's father and neighbor, who both tried to save him.

Despite the odds, hope is still very much alive in the Muslim community that these heroes will return to their families. While they wait for word from the fire department, those connected to their mosque are doing what they can to help.

Praying in their native Rohingyan language for the safe return of these two neighbors. This is Rashidullah Abdul Hashim, whose family is also grieving the death of 10-year-old Mouhammad Arman Rashidullah. His body was found Tuesday. And this is Zakaria Gonumeah in a recent photo with his daughter.

"He's very big. I'm sure he survived. I don't know I'm still hoping that he will walk back home," said Bibi Ayesha Abdul, Zakaria's niece.

The Muslim community is rallied around these heartbroken families. Palermos, where Zakaria works, dropped off food and water. Others in the community have been doing their own search.

"We're just like walking down the river and look around, call his name out if he's alive," said Bibi.

Leaders are asking volunteer searchers to be especially careful out there.

"Just to keep it safe you know and keep the search going but you know keep themselves safe," said Max Muhammed, Rohingyan Community Youth Leader.

"No matter how valiant or how altruistic or righteous that calling to go help may be I can't divert resources from this for another dive rescue," said Chief Aaron Lipski, Milwaukee Fire Department.

Two days after fast-moving water swept Rashidullah and Zakaria into one of these tunnels near 27th and Loomis, fire officials have yet to locate them, today, covering every access point from 31st and KK all the way to the lake. It has been challenging.

"The bottom of the river is very irregular and there's a lot of snag points rushing water, tremendous amount of pressure with it. Something that was in one spot yesterday could easily have dislodged and moved to another, generically speaking about objects in the water," said Chief Lipski.

The hot weather complicating things. With rain that moved in, first responders called off the search before sunset, but think the rain might actually help the search when it resumes at 9:00 a.m. in the morning, on June 16.

"It could help. It's gonna swell everything back up again for a period of time and it's gonna add, in some of these culverts it's gonna add speed onto that water," said Chief Lipski.

The family today told CBS 58 they are grateful for all the support they have been receiving, that Zakaria and Rashidullah are in the hands of God, and they are not giving up hope that they will be found alive.

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