by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:
GASTON COUNTY, N.C. - Students at a Gaston County high school are mourning a 19-year-old senior who died just four days before his graduation.
Investigators said D'Andre Hunter was swimming with classmates after the last day of school in a remote area of Mountain Island Lake when he disappeared.
Authorities said Hunter's friends waited nearly two hours to call 911 for help. In the 911 call, one of Hunter's friends described the confusion surrounding his drowning.
"He went underwater and grabbed her leg and she wasn't sure what was going on with him so she turned around and swam back with her back to him and went to go get somebody and nobody has seen him since," the caller said.
Late Tuesday night, Gaston County dive crews pulled Hunter's body from the lake near an area where no public swimming is allowed.
Hunter, who was a student at East Gaston High School, was to graduate on Saturday.
School officials described him as an avid wrestler who had plans to enlist in the military after graduation and become a U.S. Marine.
"He was well liked by our staff. They considered him one of the sweetest kids that they've had the opportunity to teach," said Cristi Bostic, principal.
Bostic said she was working with Hunter's family for a special presentation at graduation to honor his memory.
"It's a very painful thing. Our prayers go out to the family and that they are able to get through this difficult time," Bostic said.
School mourns after student drowns
Heavy rain, strong winds remain threats as storm system moves toward Carolinas
Chase, crash shuts down highway in Concord, troopers say
Man shot 8 times, killed in Chesterfield County, deputies say
Severe weather kills 15 in Georgia and Mississippi, death toll could rise