Mo. Highway Patrol leads  search for body of missing teen at Roc - KMOV.com

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Mo. Highway Patrol leads  search for body of missing teen at Rockford Beach Park

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Emergency crews are searching for a missing male at Rockford Beach State Park. (Credit: KMOV) Emergency crews are searching for a missing male at Rockford Beach State Park. (Credit: KMOV)
Emergency crews search for missing teen in Jefferson County (KMOV) Emergency crews search for missing teen in Jefferson County (KMOV)

The search for the body of a 14-year old boy who went missing in the Big River at Rockford Beach Park, stretched into a second day Thursday. The Missouri State Highway Patrol identified the boy, who is presumed to have drowned, as Devon Cotton.

A cousin, Tai Wiggins, told News 4, "He was always funny and goofy and he'd protect the family. He was always somebody we could count on."

Logan White said he, Devon and a boy named Austin got caught in a strong current while swimming at the park and Devon and Austin were pulled underwater.

"But Austin said as soon as they hit a rock they both split and Austin told me he covered his head and that as soon as he felt something under his feet he kicked up and came up and took a breath."

White said Cotton didn't resurface.

Divers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol used sonar to narrow their search. But their efforts were slowed by the strong current and debris they encountered under the surface of the water.

Corp. Juston Wheetley with the Highway Patrol said, "Some fish hooks, fishing line and a lot of rope and so they're going to encounter that too. If they get spun around and tangled in that line it could be extremely dangerous."

Cotton was a member of the freshman football team at Kirkwood High School during the 2016-2017 school year.

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