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Body of Teenage Boy Pulled From Jackson County Lake

Reported: May. 18, 2014 4:38 PM EDT
Updated: May. 18, 2014 10:37 PM EDT
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RIPLEY, W.Va. (Dan Matics) -- A group outing of friends on a Jackson County lake turned deadly for a Charleston teen Sunday.
Jackson County Sheriff Tony Boggs said two boys were in the water playing late Sunday afternoon, pulling a kayak, when it filled with water.

One of the boys was able to make it out safely, the other did not.Dive teams searched the small lake at Parchment Valley Baptist Retreat Center near Ripley.

"It's even tougher when it's a younger kid," Chuck Hitt of the Ripley Fire Department said.

The 13-year-old boy was found drowned.

Youth pastors and a group of 12 people watched, completely helpless.

"There were several attempts by several people, but again, unsuccessful," Boggs said.

The lake is 12 feet at its deepest.

The sheriff said the teen was with a group from Emmanuel Baptist Church in Charleston. Church leaders didn't want to comment Sunday.

Frank Miller, a director with the center, said this is the first time anything like this has ever happened there.

Miller said their hearts are heavy for the family and they are relying on their faith to pull through.

"It will be with me for the rest of my life, this day," he said.

The sheriff isn't releasing the boy's name at this time, as all of his family hasn't been notified.

Eyewitness News was told he was a student at Stonewall Jackson Middle school in Charleston, and it is expected that grief counselors will be on hand at the school on Monday.




RIPLEY, W.Va. (Heath Harrison) – Divers pulled the body of a 13-year-old boy from a Jackson County lake on Sunday.

Dispatchers said two teenage boys went into the lake at about 2:30 p.m. after a kayak overturned. One was able to climb out, but other did not emerge. The teens were on a retreat with Emmanuel Baptist Church from Charleston.

The boy's name is not being released until family members have been notified.




RIPLEY, W.Va. (Heath Harrison) – Rescuers were searching a lake Sunday at the West Virginia Baptist Conference Center near Ripley for a teenage boy.

Dispatchers said two teenage boys went into the lake at about 2:30 p.m. after a kayak overturned. One was able to climb out, but other did not emerge. The teens were on a retreat with Emmanuel Baptist Church from Charleston.

Dispatchers said they are now considering the efforts a recovery mission, rather than a rescue effort.

Photo: Dan Matics



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