UPDATE: Teen who drowned near Cooper's Landing identified

Friday, May 30, 2014 | 6:55 a.m. CDT; updated 6:13 p.m. CDT, Sunday, June 1, 2014

**Alvarado's name has been corrected.
*The searchers used sonar scans.

COLUMBIA — The body of a missing teenager was retrieved by searchers Friday morning at the mouth of Perche Creek at the Missouri River near where he was last seen in the water.


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The Boone County Sheriff's Department identified him as Jose "Eric" Alvarado** of Columbia. Sheriff's Detective Tom O'Sullivan said that an autopsy would be performed, though the cause of Alvarado's death was apparent accidental drowning.

The search for the 17-year-old Hickman High School student had resumed Friday morning after he disappeared into the creek while swimming near Cooper's Landing early Thursday evening. His friends, who had been swimming with him, reported him missing at 7:04 p.m. after he went underwater and didn't re-emerge.

Boone County Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Gale Blomenkamp said Alvarado drowned in the same place where 18-year-old Andrew Williams drowned in July 2012.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Paul Reinsch said that sonar* scans and dragging were used to search. The Boone County Fire Protection District, Boone County Sheriff's Department and Missouri State Highway Patrol responded and searched for the boy into the night, Fire District Capt. Martina Pounds said. Workers patrolled the waters of the Missouri River by boat, downstream from where the boy was last seen. Crews also drove up and down the edge of the river, doing a perimeter search.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol Water Patrol Division took over the search after arriving about 9:45 p.m. The patrol brought an additional search boat with better lights and sonar to help the search continue, Pounds said.

Shortly before 11 p.m., the search was called off for the night, Pounds said.

This video includes an interview with Gale Blomenkamp of the Boone County Fire Protection District:

Video by Kylee Gregg/Columbia Missourian

Emma VanDelinder contributed to this story.

Supervising editor is Landon Woodroof.

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