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Body of 7-year-old found after group of tubers goes over N.C. dam

The body of 7-year-old Isiah Crawford was found days after going over a North Carolina dam, along with eight others. Photo courtesy Rockingham County Sheriff's Office
The body of 7-year-old Isiah Crawford was found days after going over a North Carolina dam, along with eight others. Photo courtesy Rockingham County Sheriff's Office

June 21 (UPI) -- A day after officials suspended searching for two missing people from a tubing accident that killed at least four people in North Carolina last week, the body of one of them has been located.

The Rockingham County Department of Emergency Services said in a statement Sunday that the body of 7-year-old Isiah Crawford was retrieved.

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Crawford was among a group of nine people tubing on the Dan River near the Virginia border on Wednesday when they went over the dam.

Four were found alive the next day by an employee of Duke Energy, which operates the dam, the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

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The bodies of three others had already been recovered. Police identified them as Bridish Crawford, 27, Antonio Ramon, 30, and Sophie Wilson, 14.

Emergency officials said Sunday that Crawford's body was found after a 911 dispatcher received a phone call from a citizen who said they'd spotted a body in the river.

Following its retrieval, authorities confirmed it belonged to Crawford.

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A day earlier, Rockingham emergency director Rodney Cates called off rescue efforts and said, "We feel confident that we have exhausted all efforts to rescue or recover the two remaining victims."

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Officials explained that they "knew it was likely that the victims could resurface" following an increase in river flow Saturday following a release of water from Belews Lake.

Following Crawford's discovery Sunday, two boats searched the river for the final missing person, Teresa Villano, 35.

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"We continue to stand firmly behind the decision made [Saturday] to suspend search efforts until we had new leads upon which to search," officials said. "At no point have we, or will we, cease our recovery operations."

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