Yuri, missing dog swept away during storm, found dead

The body of a Black Russian terrier swept away on Aug. 13, 2014 by a surging Carlls River in Babylon was retrieved by his family after being discovered floating in the bay off Montauk Highway. (Credit: Newsday / Jessica Rotkiewicz)

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The body of a Black Russian terrier swept away Wednesday by a surging Carlls River in Babylon was retrieved by his family after being discovered floating in the bay off Montauk Highway.

"Closure was the most important thing," John Kelly said Thursday morning, just after picking up Yuri's remains. "We wanted to do everything we could to find his body. We got that, and we're able to go from there."

Kelly and his wife, Kristen, of West Babylon, launched a massive search for Yuri, a 120-pound dog, after he was swallowed up by the surging waters of the river, whipped up by the huge rainstorm that struck Long Island earlier that day.

Kristen Kelly took their four Black Russian terriers out. But Yuri pulled free from his leash, said John Kelly, and went to lap at the water. "Then he took one more step and just fell right in," Kristen Kelly said.

The couple, along with dozens of friends, strangers, and fire and police officials had searched into the night, wading into the water and combing the shore between the flooded Southards Pond and Argyle Lake in Babylon and south down the Carlls River.

John Kelly said he received a phone call early Thursday from some searchers from Huntington who found Yuri's body floating in the bay, near Peninsula Drive and Montauk Highway.

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He said Yuri will be cremated. "We have him. He's just not out there anymore," John Kelly said.

With Candice Ruud and Sarah Armaghan

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