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Police identify teen who drowned in James River

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–The Richmond Police Department has identified the drowning victim recovered from the James River Thursday by the Richmond Fire Department.

Police said that Emerson-Josue Zelaya-Aguilera, 15, of the 1000 block of Turner Road in Chesterfield was recreating in the James River on Tuesday afternoon when he became distressed.

The Richmond Police and Richmond Fire departments searched for the teen through that evening and the following day.

“We saw the individual in the water, unfortunately he was so far ahead of us we couldn’t catch up to him, and when our units from below came up he had gone underwater,” said Richmond Fire Marshal David Creasy.

Creasy told CBS 6 News’ Chelsea Rarrick that those kinds of situations can be disheartening.

He said during searches like the one this week, crews have to keep their safety in mind.

“We also have to make sure our crews are careful on the rocks because the rocks are slippery,” he said.

Along with crews staying safe, Creasy said it’s important for those swimming in the river to be careful, especially at places like the rope swing on Brown’s Island where authorities say the teen and others were near.

“Water is nothing to play with, especially moving water,” said Creasy.

The Medical Examiner will determine cause and manner of death.

No foul play is suspected.

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