CHATFIELD STATE PARK, Colo. (CBS4)– Rescue crews recovered the body of the drowning victim Wednesday morning at Chatfield State Park. The 18-year-old drowned July 31 while swimming.
The teenager, who friends and family have identified as Aric Whitacre, never resurfaced last Friday when he and another swimmer had trouble near the Catfish Flats area. Bystanders helped rescue the second swimmer.
The body, believed to be Whitacre, was located at 8:19 a.m. Wednesday by sonar. Dive teams from South Metro Fire Rescue and the Denver Fire Department assisted with the recovery of his body from the water. He was discovered roughly 50 yards off the shoreline in 17 feet of water.
“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.”
SMFR, @CPW_NE & @Denver_Fire divers have successfully located and removed a body from Chatfield Reservoir. @jeffcosheriffco will be taking over the death investigation and the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office will be doing the autopsy and cause of death determination. https://t.co/k9lyhKqTRN
— South Metro Fire Rescue (@SouthMetroPIO) August 5, 2020
The Jefferson County Coroner will determine a cause of death and positive identification of the victim.
This is the 23rd drowning in Colorado so far this year, with 20 lake-related and three swift water. The highest number of drownings in a year for Colorado is 24, which happened in 2019.