EXCLUSIVE:Family Of Drowned Lowndes Co. Victim Speaks Out
A body has been found inside a creek in Lowndesboro after a two day search. Dive teams spent hours looking for the teen's body. See the exclusive video just before was found.
He was only 17 year old -- His name was Lucas Pantaleon.
Family members say he moved to Alabama from Mexico several months ago. They say seeing his body surface at Cypress Creek inside Holy Ground Battlefield Park was something they say was unimaginable.
This is exclusive video just minutes before dive teams found the body of 17-year-old Lucas Pantaleon at Cypress Creek in Lowndesboro. Family members say Pantaleon was swimming at Holy Ground Battlefield Park with his family. Pantaleon's family is from Mexico. They spoke little English, so reporter, Catalina Trivino spoke to them in Spanish. The interview with the family is translated.
Pantaleon's brother in law Oscar Mendez was at the creek with him.
"Take us to that moment. How did it happen?" Asked Trivino.
"He said 'I'm going to have a race.' 'Thats fine,' I said. And then he went and got quite ahead. And then I don't know what got into me I went back to fishing," Said Mendez.
"During that time, he started struggling in about 14 feet of water and went under. Once he went under, no one was able to know exactly where he was at and no one was able to recover him or save him," Said Montgomery County Fire Chief of Special Operations, Kelly Gordon.
The Chilton, Elmore and Montgomery County dive team assisted the Lowndes County Sheriff's office as they searched the waters for Pantaleon. They say he was under water for about 18 hours before they were able to recover his body, which was found 13 feet from the shoreline.
"When you saw your son's body, what was that moment like?" Asked Trivino to the victim's father, Antonio Pantaleon.
"He just got here. He lived here only months, he just got here. He lived with us only six months. I feel hurt right now. Just six months he lived here... and he's dead," Said Pantaleon.
He's a teenager family members say could swim A=and was more of a man ready to make a life in the United States...
"17 years old. I've never met a person like him.," Said Mendez in tears. He told us Pantaleon was more of a brother to him.
Lowndes County Sheriff, John Williams, says this is the first drowning they've had in about three years. Holy Ground Battlefield Park rangers say it's been at least 15 years since the last drowning at the park.
The Lowndes county coroner has examined the body and has declared the drowning as accidental.