Life jacket rack disappears in Moline

MOLINE, Illinois  -- Last June, Olivia Ray and her father built a wooden life jacket rack with four life vests on it.

They constructed it to honor Malik Williams, who drowned while saving his young son who fell in and to hopefully prevent future tragedy.

Ray's homemade rack is now gone and she wants answers.

With several drownings in the Mississippi River - like 2-year-old Hawk  Newberry - river safety is top of mind for many, and life jacket racks could help save lives.

Ray says no one contacted her about removing the rack, so she doesn't know if it was stolen or taken down by the city.

Ray said she looked all over Moline for the rack and the life jackets.

"We looked in a nearby trash can and we didn't see anything," Ray said. "I think they may have just taken it or recycled the wood."

With the rack gone, people are now leaving jackets for public use on the ground near the dock.

Ray said she's sad her rack is gone, but is happy to see people taking the initiative to keep supplying life vests.

"It doesn't have to be on a fancy rack, it could just be laying out there and I think that's wonderful that people are taking the initiative," Ray said.

WQAD reached out to the city of Moline several times to find out if they took down the rack, but has not received a response.