The search for a missing 17-year-old boy came to a tragic end on Sunday. Fayetteville Police recovered the body of Adam Ventress just before 5 p.m. The body was found in the Elk River, right off the Highway 64 bypass in Fayetteville.
Authorities say Ventress had not been seen since early Saturday afternoon, when he disappeared during a swim with two friends in the river. Family members confirmed their son had gone missing after spending the day along the riverbank. Police say the preliminary cause of death is accidental drowning.
Family members say Ventress was last seen walking along a line of rocks in the river, but when his friends turned around again, he was gone. Law enforcement agencies along with emergency management and dive teams aided in the effort to find Ventress.
Ventress' parents told WHNT News 19 their son lived in Hazel Green, and was set to begin his sophomore year at Sparkman High School.
"Words can't describe it," said Ventress' stepfather Randy Sharp. "You don't know what you go through till it happens to you... His life was beginning to turn around. He had mentioned about going into the Navy when he graduated high school, and we all told him we were all proud of him."
Other details on how Ventress may have drowned have yet to be released, but the case remains under investigation. The body has been sent to the Tennessee State Medical Examiner's office in Nashville, where an autopsy will be performed.