8-Year-Old Boy Tragically Drowns While Swimming in St. Francis River

Courtesy Clay County Sheriff's Department

ST. FRANCIS, Ark. — The Clay County Sheriff’s Department has extended its deepest condolences to the Boyster family following the tragic loss of their 8-year-old son, Layton, who drowned while swimming with friends in the St. Francis River.

The tragic incident happened around 4:04 p.m. on July 22 at Cottonwood Point, a local swimming spot in St. Francis. According to the emergency call received by the Sheriff’s Department, Layton had disappeared underwater and failed to resurface.

Several law enforcement and emergency agencies including the Clay County Sheriff’s Department, Dunklin County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas Game and Fish Officers, Missouri Department of Conservation Officers, Arkansas State Police, Clay County Emergency Task Force, and Clay County Coroner responded to the emergency call.

At approximately 8:26 p.m., the child was found. The Sheriff’s Department has expressed gratitude to everyone who assisted in the tragic event, highlighting the cooperation of all the agencies involved.

Special thanks were also given to One MOAR Last Chance, a local business that provided a cooler full of water and Gatorade, offering further assistance if needed.

The Boyster family resides in St. Francis, and Layton attended Piggott Elementary School. The entire community is in mourning over the tragic loss of a young life.

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