Family finds closure after body of boy killed in boating accident is found


COTTONWOOD, Calif. - The family of 12-year-old Auston Strole, who died during a boating accident in July, were relieved his body was found Friday.

Strole was hit by a boat while tubing at Shasta Lake on Fourth of July weekend.

The family hired the Ralston team from Idaho, who arrived Monday and searched every day. It was during their search Friday, when they miraculously found his body. The team said Auston is the 101 person they have rescued.

Strole's family is finally at peace with the closure they needed.

A moment of silence was held at West Valley High School Saturday for Auston.

Before the Red Bluff Junior Spartans faced off against the West Valley Junior Eagles out on the field, they stood side by side in silence to remember Strole, who once played on the Red Bluff team.

Auston's aunt Roxane Maddox was at Shasta Lake with the rest of the family when he was found on Friday.

"It's a happy moment, it's a relief. It means we can go out there and enjoy the lake again and we can take Auston with us when we go out there. It's not something that each time we go out there we're searching for him," Maddox said.

Maddox said Friday was the last day the team was going to be searching.

"They were kind of getting ready to wrap things up. They decided to push out to a little farther to where a jet skier had said he had thought the accident had happened. There was some valleys, and then it kind of leveled out, and there sat Auston," Maddox said.

Despite weeks of searching, Auston's football coach Todd Newman said they never gave up hope.

"There was some discouraging moments when you know obviously we couldn't find him, and there's always been hope with the family and all the friends in the community. With the support that we had from the community, we didn't lose hope. Auston's name's been out there day to day. Thank God I got a call yesterday," Newman said.

Newman said he had mixed emotions about finding Auston.

"I think I took it pretty hard actually. I coached Auston since he was a little guy on the football field. He played on the same team on Little League with my son. Auston was always one of those little kids that had dirt all over his face and food down his shirt so it was a happy moment but a sad moment, but I was glad I was there to say goodbye to him," Newman said.

"He's home now. He's where he needs to be," Maddox said.

There is a symbol of double zeros with wings now on every association in Northern California Youth Football helmets to remember Strole.

"He's always with us," Maddox said.

Family and friends said they be saying their final goodbyes to Auston next week.