The body of a missing teenage boy has been found in a lake in southwestern New Jersey, officials said Monday. According to an online fundraiser set up on behalf of the family, the high school senior was participating in a “lost treasure hunt.”
Authorities have identified the 18-year-old boy as Victor Rodriguez, a senior at Pittman High School. His body was found at Alcyon Lake in Gloucester County.
Pittman Mayor Michael Ratze said it was “extremely disappointing that Victor recovered after over 17 hours of tedious and arduous work by many first responders.” said in a statement. “The mutual love and support of our community will help us through this difficult time. On behalf of the entire district, I extend my deepest condolences to his family, friends, students and the 2023 PHS class. increase.”
The search for Rodriguez began Sunday night.. First responders were summoned to the lake shortly before 8:45 p.m. Sunday, according to Pitman Police Chief Dan McAteer.
McAteer said the boy lost control while trying to swim across the lake and submerged. There were two other people in the lake, and they both tried to help but were overwhelmed and returned to shore.
“My understanding is that the water can be as deep as 10 feet,” McAteer said of the depth of the lake.
A middle school student at Pittman High School said the boy had participated in a so-called “senior scavenger” that students said had been going on for more than 15 years.
The student said one of the tasks is to swim across Lake Alcyon to score points.
“Because this lake is known to be dirty, so people say ‘swim across this dirty lake’ and you get a lot of points for that,” the student said.
The search was carried out by the New Jersey State Police, the Gloucester County Emergency Department, and other local police and fire departments in Southern Jersey.
No students were required to report to Pittman High School on Monday. The building remained open and spiritual support services were available to students throughout the day.
All exams scheduled for Monday and Tuesday have been cancelled.
A GoFundMe supporting Rodriguez’s family has raised over $50,000.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/victor-rodriguez-dead-alcyon-lake-scavenger-hunt-new-jersey/ New Jersey teenage Victor Rodriguez found dead in lake after ‘lost treasure hunt’