Lexington, SC (WLTX) - It has been days since 35-year-old Durham Alexander DeLaura went missing on Lake Murray with his 4-year-old daughter still onboard the boat they were in.
On Sunday, we learned more information about the moments leading up the the 4-year-old's rescue from people on Panorama Point in Lexington who brought the child to safety. They believe God must have been with her.
"She said, 'Daddy fell, and he went deep, deep, deep,'" said one of the rescuers who asked that we keep her identity private. "I don't think I'll ever forget those words. From a four year old."
For almost an hour, the 4-year-old girl drifted alone on Lake Murray after watching her father fall off the boat.
She drifted into the backyards of people on Panorama Point, who say they knew something was wrong.
"She's in the boat alone, she's standing, we don't see anybody around," the rescuer said.
That's when her husband rushed to pull the four-year-old's boat in. Nearby neighbors ran into grab her off the boat.
"My neighbor scooper her out of the boat, wrapped a towel around her," the rescuer said.
The rescuer said she was shocked at how calm the little one was.
"Amazingly brave, she didn't cry," the rescuer said, "but she told us she did cry. She said, 'I did cry, and I did say help, help!'"
The rescuer said the four-year-old asked the rescuers if they could find her dad, but after awhile, said something heartbreaking.
"She just put down her sippy cup and she said, 'I think my daddy's dead,'" the rescuer said. "And we... you know, none of us wanted to gasp, but our hearts were breaking."
But even in this terrible tragedy, the rescuer says she believes God brought her to safety.
"I think she was led here," the rescuer said. "I believe God was with her and kept her from jumping in after her daddy. And we will never forget her."
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says they will scale back their search, but continue to surface searches on boats and fly an aircraft over the area daily.
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