Family, community holds out hope to find 2 missing men swept away in drainage ditch


MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — A devastating discovery on Milwaukee’s south side. Family members are grieving after crews recovered the body of a 10-year-old boy near Pulaski Park. The boy was swept into a drainage tunnel near 27th and Loomis. His father, and a Good Samaritan who both jumped in to help, also swept away and remain missing. 

Restless family members wait for word from first responders, holding onto hope that the two missing men will be found alive. 

CBS 58 has learned the two men are neighbors. They live right next door to each other. Both are from Burma in southeast Asia and both are active members of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee. 

Tuesday morning started off horribly for the Muslim community with the discovery of the 10-year-old boy dead. 

Mouhammad Arman Rashidullah would have turned 11 on the 4th of July. 

“Everyone knows each other so everyone’s hurting right now,” said Mohammad Assad who knows the family through the Islamic Society of Milwaukee.

Friends and family are showing support, going in and out of Arman’s home and doing their own search along the river for Arman’s father, Rashidullah Abdul Hashim, and their neighbor, Zakaria Gonumeah. 

“You know like only the God can show us the way so everything’s on God,” said Mohammad Shahiit who knows the family through the Islamic Society of Milwaukee.

“We are all grieving right now. We are absolutely devastated by the loss,” said Iman Ameer Hamza of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee.

What happened to Gonumeah and Hashim remains unknown.

“It’s almost 24 hours you know how long can a person live down there,” said Ashraf Yassin, nephew of the Good Samaritan who was translating for Nur Begum, the Good Samaritan’s sister.

Ashraf Yassin is Gonumeah’s nephew. 

“It’s just like whenever I’m laughing right now it just don’t feel right to be laughing and whenever I’m crying it just don’t feel right to cry, I don’t know, I can’t even tell my feelings right now because all I want is my uncle back home. If I think about it I could never find another person like him, not a man like him,” said Yassin.

Smart, funny and kind, so kind that when he heard his neighbors were in trouble, he reacted fast. 

“So he took the car and he went all the way down the street. He stopped the car and he just jump in the water just to save them so he was holding onto them,” said Yassin.

Afternoon storms left the canal overflowing with fast-moving water, too dangerous for firefighters to get in. Family says watching first responders on the lawn, not in the water, was difficult.

Both men have made a big impact on the community. Family are not giving up hope that they can be found alive. 

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