For the past two days, emergency crews have worked to find Lyle Eagle Tail's body at Falls Park.
His family and friends were camped out there as well, just waiting to hear the words, 'he has been found.’
It was a long and stressful day on Saturday. Not only for rescue crews searching for 28-year-old Lyle Eagle Tail's body in the Big Sioux River, but for his family and friends, who sat huddled under blankets, waiting for closure.
“He's the only hero I knew and will probably be the only hero I know," said Eagle Tail’s close friend, Napolean Ducheanaeux.
They would get the closure they've been looking for, shortly before 2 P.M.
“Auntie called and said they found him and I tried to get down here and the parade was in the way and I just wanted to see him so much, but they wouldn’t let me see him,” said Eagle Tail’s mother, Margaret Eagle Tail.
When crews pulled his body from the water, their screams and cries from could be heard from across Falls Park.
“My son is the biggest hero. He sacrificed himself for that little child and that's the way his grandmother has brought him up, with much love and respect,” said Eagle Tail.
Eagle Tail's mother said she has not seen her son in nearly six years, a good-bye she’ll never get to have.
“It's the hardest thing to get over and I'm not prepared for this,” said Eagle Tail.
Nothing could prepare them, but the family said thanks to the community's support and the rescue team's hard work, their son is at peace.
“We are very thankful to you for everything that you have done for us and everything that you have given to us that has really helped us through this time of need," said Eagle Tail’s grandmother, Caroline Quick Bear.
Now a long search is over, and a family has the closure they so desperately needed.
“To that little boy and his family, you know, my son is a hero to them. He sacrificed himself,” said Eagle Tail.
Eagle Tail lived in Sioux Falls, but his mother said she plans to hold his funeral in Rapid City where they are from.
If you would like to help out Eagle Tail's family, a fund has been set up at Wells Fargo under the name 'Lyle Eagle Tail Benefit Memorial Fund'.