UPDATE (3:40 p.m.):
The 16-year-old drowning victim has been identified.
Sgt. Shannon Jenkins with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office identified the victim as Raymond Vaughns.
The 16-year-old boy who drowned at the Prairie Creek swim area Sunday afternoon was a sophomore at Bentonville High School, according to Leslee Wright with Bentonville Public Schools.
Wright said the teen joined Bentonville Schools back in January and the principal is planning to visit the family on Monday (May 14).
“Counselors are available for any student or staff member who wishes to take advantage of that support. Today, our prayers are with this young man’s family and we’re looking to support them however we can,” Wright said.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office confirmed a 16-year-old boy drowned at the Prairie Creek swim area Sunday afternoon.
A shadow falls on what started as a sunny Mother’s Day.
“All of us were like are they going to find the body?” Witness Mary Franke said.
Around 2 P.M. the Benton County Sheriff’s Office confirmed a 16-year-old boy went underwater and didn’t come back up.
“I saw his mother standing over there and my heart broke for her,” witness Shannon Guiterrez said witnessed boy drowning
Crews used sonar signals and a helicopter to pull a body out of the water about an hour later.
“Rest in peace to him,” Guiterrez said. “It’s just so sad. We are sending our prayers.”
The swimming area..silent as families watch.
“As a mother, I can’t even imagine something like that happening to my child,” Franke said.
Some bystanders quickly leave with their children.
Others were back in the water in less than 10 minutes.
“I’m keeping a much closer eye on them and keep them much closer to me while we are here,” Franke said.
Many trying to comprehend what just happened.
“I really feel for that mother,” Franke said. “I really do. I’m so sorry for your loss.”
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office has not made an official statement at this time.
They say the incident is under investigation.