Family heartbroken after kids swept to sea
A family in Oregon is coping with an unimaginable tragedy. One child is dead, and another is missing after a massive wave swept them and their father into the ocean.
On Saturday afternoon, Jeremy Stiles and the couple's two children were swept into the ocean at the Oregon coast.
"I can't imagine what they're going through my heart and my prayers go out to them," said family friend, Robb Radford.
Radford has known the family for about seven years.
"They bring over food sometimes in the summer - 'you're working too hard Robb, you need to go home' type of thing," Radford said.
He owns a business near their home in Portland's Montavilla neighborhood, where he says the family recently opened their own business called Mother Lovin Coffee.
"That whole family they love their kids, they love each other and they're really tight," said Radford.
Family members say Jeremy and the two kids were on an off-beach trail in the Falcon Cove area when a sneaker wave came up the trail and pulled them into the ocean.
When police arrived, the father was struggling to get out of the water. A Manzinita officer pulled seven-year-old Lola Stiles from the water, but she died at the hospital. Four-year-old William is still missing.
At the time of the incident, family members say the children's mother and grandma were out shopping for dinner.
In a statement, family members say, "Our hearts, as you can imagine, could not be more broken as both children were loved beyond measure by our entire family and so many others."
Lola was a student at Vestal Elementary School.
The principal writes, "There are truly no words for such a tragedy, we love the Stiles family so much and keep them all in our hearts."
A sneaker wave is described as a "larger-than-average swell that can suddenly and without warning surge dozens of feet higher up the beach than expected," according to to the National Weather Service.