Skip to main content

Boy's death, father's anguish mark storm's fury

By the CNN Wire Staff
Click to play
Tornado kills father's two young sons
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The 3-year-old's body is found in a lake
  • His younger brother also died in storm
  • His mother has undergone "two pretty serious surgeries," a relative says
RELATED TOPICS
  • Oklahoma
  • Tornadoes

(CNN) -- A 3-year-old lost in the ferocious storm that swept through Oklahoma Tuesday night was found dead Thursday morning, authorities said.

The body of Ryan Hamil was found floating in a lake.

The search for him in Canadian County and his family's anguish drew worldwide attention. Ryan's younger brother, 15-month-old Cole, died in the storm as well. His older sister Cathleen survived, as did his mother, Catherine Hamil, who is pregnant.

"I lost both of my boys," said Ryan's father, Hank Hamil, crying before cameras at a news conference Thursday morning.

"Ryan was my little buddy. Cole was too. I loved them both," he said.

Hank Hamil was out of town during the storm. He returned Wednesday to join the search for his son.

His parents said Cathleen, 5, appears to be doing well in the hospital. Catherine Hamil had "two pretty serious surgeries," and the baby she is carrying seems to be "fine," said Hank Hamil's mother, Debra Hamil.

Part of complete coverage on
Photos: Storm devastates Joplin
Click through to see the damage from the deadliest U.S. twister since modern record-keeping began.
Security cams show twister hit
A security camera records damage from a Kansas tornado. CNN affiliate KTKA-TV in Topeka has more.
'Tornado' once banned in forecasts
The warnings seem almost ubiquitous today, but the word "tornado" used to be banned in weather forecasts.
New graduates face devastation
Joplin High seniors were wrapping up their graduation ceremony as the devastating storm started to roll in to town.
Tornadoes by the numbers
Click through to see the number of tornadoes by year since 1950 and how many deaths resulted from these twisters.
Survivors: 'We are so, so lucky'
Survivors of the Joplin, Missouri, tornado describe their experiences riding out the deadly twister.
Hazards don't stop first responders
Hundreds of firefighters, police officers, medics and more head into Joplin, Missouri, to search for survivors.
Storm deadliest in decades
After surviving the deadly storm, residents in Joplin, Missouri, brace for the possibility of more tornadoes.