Oklahoma tornadoes: Body of missing Piedmont boy found in housing addition lake

Oklahoma tornadoes: An emotional Hank Hamil, of Piedmont, talked about the loss of his sons. The body of Ryan Hamil, 3, was found Thursday morning in Falcon Lake.
By ROBERT MEDLEY rmedley@opubco.com Modified: May 26, 2011 at 9:29 pm •  Published: May 26, 2011

— Searchers found the body of a 3-year-old boy Thursday, two days after a tornado pulled him out of a bathtub where he huddled with his family and flung him into a lake 60 yards away.

The death of Ryan Hamil brings the number of people killed in Tuesday's Oklahoma tornadoes to 10, including the boy's 15-month-old brother, Cole. Their sister, Cathleen, 5, and mother, Catherine Hamil, 36, were injured and remain hospitalized — the girl in critical condition and the woman in fair condition.

The boy's father, Hank Hamil, who was away working during the tornado, participated in the search and had been hoping his son would be found alive.

“It's a bad deal,” Hamil said at a news conference, his voice quavering. “I've lost both my boys.

“Ryan was my little buddy. Cole was, too. I loved them both.”

Dogs led searchers to the body, which surfaced about four feet off the west shore of Falcon Lake at a Piedmont-area subdivision where the family lives, just south of Waterloo Road about a quarter mile east of Sara Road.

More than 100 searchers had combed the area. Dogs had picked up the boy's scent near the shore, but a large amount of debris — including sheet metal, boards, parts of houses and even a car — in the water hindered search efforts.

Hamil was working in Texas on a wheat harvest when the tornado struck. He came home and spent hours searching for the boy.

“I just want to thank everyone for helping and being there,” he said.

Debra Hamil, the grandmother, said Catherine Hamil, has undergone two significant surgeries at OU Medical Center.

She is pregnant, and the grandmother said the unborn baby is fine.

She also said Cathleen is recovering.

View/sign the guest book for Joan Krug View/sign the guest book for Ryan Hamil
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