Texas Teen Found Dead After He and Friend Were Reportedly Ejected From a Boat: 'Our Hearts Are Shattered'

Crews located the body of 14-year-old Conner Curtice during “an extensive search" of the water "using sonar technology," according to authorities



A 14-year-old boy has been found dead in a Texas river after he was reportedly thrown from a boat during a Memorial Day accident.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO) said a boater called 911 on Monday afternoon to report that the victim “had fallen overboard” on the Neches River near Deck Hand Alley.

The caller said the victim had “not resurfaced” after tumbling into the water, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

Conner Curtice was “ejected from the boat” during the accident, according to GoFundMe organizer Lindsi Vercher, who describes herself as the childhood best friend of Conner’s mom Ashlea Curtice.

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Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden Captain Ryan Hall said two friends were on a boat near the NatGasoline plant on Sulphur Plant Road when the vessel began taking on water, according to KBMT-12.

An 18-year-old who was driving the boat allegedly claimed he and the teenager were trying to plug up the holes when the boat lurched and sent them both flying, Hall said, per the report.

Conner’s body was located in the river on Tuesday around 6 p.m. local time, according to the sheriff’s office. An autopsy has been ordered.

“Our hearts are shattered,” Vercher wrote on GoFundMe's website, “but the complete outpouring of love for our family has felt, has given us the strength to keep pressing on during this living nightmare.”

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The JCSO’s Marine Division was joined by Texas Game Wardens and the Port Neches Fire Department as they conducted an initial search of the area.

Crews conducted “an extensive search using sonar technology to locate the body,” the JCSO said.

His family said Conner was going to be a freshman at Port Neches-Groves High School this coming school year.

A candlelight vigil was held for Conner on Wednesday, according to KBMT.

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“We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts, and ask that you please continue to pray for our family in the weeks and months to come,” Vercher wrote in the description of the GoFundMe campaign, which has garnered more than $53,000 in donations.

The Texas Game Wardens are leading an investigation into Monday’s incident, according to the JCSO.

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