Updated: South River Man Dies After Rescuing Children From Millstone River

SEARCH IS ON – Members of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Dive Team search the Millstone River for a 42-year-old South River man.

Update: Police have identified the victim as Rolando Camarillo-Cholula.

The Franklin Township Police Department reminds residents that causeways, lakes, and all waterways can hide dangers like hidden currents, sudden depths, and cold shock. When traveling along the canal and towpath, please look for postings that provide guidance regarding prohibited areas and activities.

Public Safety Director Quovella Maeweather offered her condolences on behalf of the Franklin Township Police Department to Camarillo-Cholula’s family and loved ones.

A walk along the Delaware & Raritan Canal tow path turned tragic for a 42-year-old South River man after he apparently drowned in the Millstone River near the Route 518 bridge after pulling three of his children to safety.

Police said the as-yet unidentified man went into the water after his two daughters and one son – aged 8, 11 and 13 years – became “distressed” soon after they entered the water by themselves.

The man pulled his three children to the shallower side of the river when he lost his balance and went underwater, according to a press release from the Franklin Township Police Department.

Police received a 9-1-1 call about the man in the water at about 2:13 p.m., according to the release.

Responding officers found the three children out of the water, but could not locate the father, according to the release.

Arriving emergency personnel entered the water, but could not find the man, according to the release. The three children were treated at the scene and then released, according to the press release.

Divers from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office dive team searched the area and found the man’s body at about 5:28 p.m., according to the release.

Divers could be seen at work less than a quarter-mile from the Rt. 518 bridge.

Family members and friends arrived at the towpath parking lot steadily during the afternoon while the search continued, hugging and consoling each other.

Police used a drone carrying a camera to help with the search.

The Franklin Township Police Department was assisted by Millstone Valley Fire (Station 28), Griggstown Fire (Station 35), Franklin Park Fire (Station 31), Somerset Fire and Rescue (Station 56), Franklin Fire Marshals, Montgomery PD, South Brunswick PD, NJ State Police, NJ State Park Police, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Dive Team, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital EMS, and Rocky Hill EMS.

The factors that contributed to the incident are currently under investigation by the Franklin Township Police Department, according to the release.

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