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Drowned 18-year-old recovered from Chatfield Reservoir, went missing in water on Friday

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Posted at 11:15 AM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 15:11:45-04

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — The body of an 18-year-old who went missing in the Chatfield Reservoir on Friday has been recovered, South Metro Fire Rescue confirmed Wednesday.

South Metro Fire Rescue said the man was found Wednesday at 8:19 a.m. using sonar and optical video equipment on a remote-operated vehicle. The body was discovered about 50 yards from the shoreline in 17 feet of water. The man's family was at the park when his body was brought to the shore.

Earlier this week, friends and family identified the missing man as Aric Whitacre.

The 18-year-old went missing from the Catfish Flats area of the reservoir, just south of the swim beach on the west side of the park, on Friday around 3:25 p.m. The man was swimming with another person, who was rescued by a nearby boat.

Crews have been searching the reservoir every day since then. The reservoir remained open during the search, despite family and friends asking boaters to stay away from the reservoir.

Crews used divers, a cadaver dog, sonar, a helicopter, drones and more to search for the man.

The identification of the man, as well as cause and manner of death, will be confirmed by the Jefferson County Coroner's Office. Foul play is not suspected, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said.

This drowning is the 23rd in the state this year — 20 were lake-related and three happened in swift water. The state is approaching its deadliest year in history. The highest number of drownings in a year is 24, which was recorded in 2019.