Witness: Eau Claire teen missing in Chippewa River jumped in on a dare

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Eau Claire (WQOW) – We are learning new, heartbreaking, information about a teen missing in the Chippewa River since Tuesday night.

The man who called 911, Evan Bauer, told News 18 in an exclusive interview he was at Mount Simon Park when Panio Hessel, 17, and his friends where jumping off cliffs at the park.

Bauer told News 18 there were four or five guys on the other side of the river fishing and they offered Hessel a $10 bet if he would jump into the river. Bauer said Hessel jumped in and swam about halfway across the river when he started yelling for help.

More: Police identify missing teen

Bauer said he immediately called 911 and went to a nearby house to get an address.

The search for Hessel is now in its third day. Crews were out on the water for 11 hours on Wednesday.

More: Crews continue search for missing teen

Clint Berge

Clint Berge

Clint Berge is the Social Media & Digital Content Manager for Eau Claire's Own WQOW News 18. Report any website issues to him at cberge@wqow.com

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