Catoosa Co. drowning victim found, identified - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Catoosa Co. drowning victim found, identified

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CATOOSA COUNTY, GA (WRCB) -- The body of a drowning victim has been found in Chickamauga Creek in Catoosa County. 

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is investigating what happened. They say 18-year-old Damond Beck of Rossville went missing in Chickamauga Creek around 7:00 p.m. Saturday. 

His body was recovered early Sunday morning.

Emergency crews worked all night scouring the waters of Chickamauga Creek off Carol Drive. News of the drowning quickly spread through the creek-side neighborhood.

"Oh God, is it a child? We heard there was someone in the creek. It's a scary thing because we didn't know who it was," neighbor Christine Kinsey said.

DNR investigators say Damond Beck was at the creek with another male and female. The girl slipped and they went to help her. The other guy says when he turned back around, Beck was gone.
Hamilton County S.T.A.R.S assisted with an underwater camera, which after hours of searching, found the teen's body about 75 yards downstream from where he reportedly went under. Divers recovered his body in the early morning hours.  

"It's just a terrible that a young person loses their life," neighbor Martha Nix said.

"It still worries you to know a kid is down there because a lot of kids go down there and they just swim and fish," neighbor Bonny Hargis said.

Neighbors say the popular spot has unpredictable terrain in some areas.

"It comes to your ankles and then all of a sudden, it drops and you can go right under," Kinsey said.

They this tragedy is a wakeup call when it comes to letting their kids play there.

"We are going to keep a tight rope on our children," Kinsey said.

They say their thoughts and prayers go out to Damond Beck's family.

"To lose a son...I have two sons and a daughter and I couldn't imagine losing any of them," Nix said.

"I'm sorry you've lost a son. That's really hard," Hargis said.

The DNR says the current in Chickamauga Creek was not especially strong, but say the investigation is ongoing. Autopsy results are pending.



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