August 12, 1997 in City

Body Of 3-Year-Old Girl Found In River

From Staff And Wire Reports

The body of a 3-year-old girl was found Monday about 150 yards downstream from where she fell into the Puyallup River when a rubber raft capsized, the Pierce County sheriff’s department said.

Stephanie Courville’s body had been pinned by tree snags under an overhanging section of the riverbank, sheriff’s spokesman Curt Benson said. Searchers found her just after noon, he said.

The child was with her mother, Brandy Blake, 20, of Sumner and Blake’s boyfriend when the accident occurred early Sunday afternoon, Benson said. The boyfriend’s two sons, ages 3 and 5, were also in the raft.

The rafters had drifted a mile from their push-off point near the Calistoga Bridge when the raft overturned, plunging its occupants into water 8 to 12 feet deep, Benson said.

None of the occupants wore life jackets, he said.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email