St. Louis County Police Department officers are searching for a missing boy, Christopher Marks, 12, who attends Rogers Middle School in Affton.
Christopher was last seen by family last night at 7:30 p.m. after he went to play on a rope swing over the Meramec River in the Pacific Palisades Conservation Area.
Donna Sherman, Christopher's great-aunt, of Sunset Hills, said family members were told by police they do not believe Christopher's body is in the water in the immediate area of the river where the incident occurred. Sherman said more than 12 hours of continuous searching have not turned up any confirmed clues.
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Christopher was at the river with about seven children, ranging in age from 12 to 16 years old, and one adult, Christopher's stepfater Todd Combs, according to Sherman.
Alcohol was present, and family said Christopher had been drinking, according to KMOV.
Sherman said Christopher shared twin telepathy with his twin sister Anna-Marie since they've been young. "They were nothing alike, but they felt one another's pain. Anna-Marie felt Chris last night, but today she's just feeling empty."
"He's just a very outgoing kid," Sherman said from the conservation area where Christopher is missing. "He likes being outside. He likes swimming. He's just a good kid."
Police say they sent divers back into the water further downstream and brought in more bloodhounds to help in the search.
"We're so hoping he got out of here," said Sherman, who stayed at the accident scene all night. "He was a Scout, and he's been camping. He knows where is from here. He's a tough 12-year-old, and we're praying he got out."
Christopher was with his family in the 18,000 block of Franklin Road in the Pacific Palisades Conservation Area, which is an unincorporated area of St. Louis County. Pacific Palisades Conservation Area is a 695-acre tract in Jefferson and St. Louis Counties immediately east of Pacific and three miles from Interstate 44.
Investigators said 12-year-old Christopher is a white male, 5-foot-3 to 5-foot-4, who weighs approximately 130 pounds. He was wearing blue or black shorts, with no shirt and no shoes. An endangered person advisory was issued for Christopher at 3 a.m. Monday by the Missouri Highway Patrol.
Divers and bloodhounds have arrived at the area to aid in the search.
Christopher will enter the seventh grade at Rogers Middle School, and the Affton School District said officials have been in contact with his family.
"Christopher and his family have been a part of the Affton community for many years," said Jeff Remelius, principal at Rogers Middle. "He is a great kid, student and friend. The school will offer any and all support at our disposal. We will have school counselors availible for students and the school community."
The Jefferson County portion of Pacific Palisades Conservation Area is 1.5 miles south of Pacific on Route F, then one-tenth-mile east on English Road. The boat ramp is located in St. Louis County off Route 66, which is an outer road of I-44. The area contains forest, cropland, old fields, and the Meramec River, as well as sand and gravel pits with seasonal fishing.
A Eureka police officer confirmed with Patch the search is being handled by St. Louis County officers. A search has been active since last night. Family members of the child are still at the scene.
Anyone with any information about this endangered child is asked to call St. Louis County Police at 314-615-5360 or or .
Online, those searching for Christopher use the hashtag #searchforchristopher.