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Body of drowning victim recovered from Chatfield Reservoir

Rescue crews search the Chatfield Reservoir for a teen drowning victim, last seen July 31, 2020.  A body, presumed to be the 18-year-old, was recovered on Aug. 5, 2020.
Rescue crews search the Chatfield Reservoir for a teen drowning victim, last seen July 31, 2020. A body, presumed to be the 18-year-old, was recovered on Aug. 5, 2020.(South Metro Fire)
Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 2:04 PM MDT
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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - The body of a drowning victim was recovered Wednesday morning from the Chatfield Reservoir nearly week after an 18-year-old went under and never resurfaced.

Crews had been searching the lake since July 31, when the teen and another swimmer went under about 60 feet from shore. Nearby boaters were able to rescue the second swimmer but couldn’t save the teen. In the days that followed, dive teams along with a firefighter on a jet ski combed the lake, while the South Metro and West Metro fire departments used drones to get a better overview of the search area. Tuesday, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office brought in a water-based cadaver dog to help identify target points for divers.

Rescue crews pulled the body of a male out of the reservoir just before 8:20 a.m. Wednesday 50 yards off the shoreline. The body was recovered in 17 feet of water. Officials believe it is 18-year-old Aric Whitacre.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the family,” said Kris Wahlers, Chatfield State Park Manager, in a statement. “We are thankful to all the rescue crews who aided in this extensive search and we hope that the recovery of the body will bring a little comfort to the family as they mourn the loss of their loved one.”

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