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‘This has been monumental:’ Mom of WI teen swept away by rip current joins search in Alabama

DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. — Carrie Holton, the mother of Jevon Lemke, 17, of Reedsville, Wis., swept under by a rip current  on Dauphin Island in Alabama on Sunday, March 25 spoke out ahead of an organized search effort set for Easter Sunday, April 1. Holton spoke out for the first time, as she prepared to head down to Alabama from Wisconsin.

“There are angels among us, when I didn’t believe in that anymore,” said Holton.

Holton thanked a family she never knew she had.

“I’m never going to be able to repay them,” said Holton.

Jevon Lemke

Recent days have been agonizing for Holton. Her young son was swept under by a rip current on March 25, and since then, there’s been an outpouring of support from people on the Gulf Coast.

“There are no words. This has been monumental. They’ve given me hope in humanity again,” she said.

Holton, who has been in Wisconsin, was preparing to head down to Alabama on Easter Sunday. Nicki McClure was preparing to take her in.

“She is truly, truly amazing. She is literally a sister to me. She’s my guardian angel and I don’t even know this woman,” Holton explained.

McClure has also organized search efforts on Dauphin Island. The Easter Sunday search was set to begin at 2 p.m. at the water tower, but that didn’t stop people from getting ahead of the game.

“It’s difficult to express how much it affects everybody here. Even though the family is not from here, we think about them. We want them to have peace,” said Rich Brewer.

Brewer walked six miles looking for the boy, and said he’d be back out on Easter Sunday at first light with some of his boating buddies.

“So many reasons. I’m a father, first of all, and my heart breaks for these people. Also, I know the beach really well, and the island is a close -knit community,” said Brewer.

Holton said she can’t thank this community enough. For many reasons, she said she was eager to get down to Alabama on Sunday. One being to find Jevon, and another — to meet the woman who started all of this with a Facebook post.

“I love her. I’m excited to meet her. I’m excited to meet everybody else that will be out there. I can’t wait to hold her in my arms. Truly,” Holton added.