'He's with God': family grieves after teen's body recovered from Mountain Island Lake

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Search and rescue crews recovered the body of a missing swimmer on Mountain Island Lake Friday.

[IMAGES: Crews search for missing swimmer on Mountain Island Lake]

Crews were called just after 8 p.m. Thursday to Mountain Island Road in Mount Holly after being told of a possible drowning.

Family members told Channel 9 that 19-year-old Jacob Turner was swimming with three cousins in the lake when he apparently got tired and went under.

The teen's father, Larry Sherwood, said his son knew how to swim but was exhausted after working all day.

"They got parted halfway across, whatever, and he says, ‘I’m tired. I’m gonna turn around and go back,’” Sherwood told Channel 9. “John says, ‘OK, roll on your back and backstroke,’ and he never made it. He went under. They couldn’t find him.”

Loved ones said Turner was preparing to be a father in a few months. His sister, Becky McVickers, said Turner's girlfriend is 12 weeks pregnant.

"He was so excited, looking forward to having a new baby," McVickers said. "All his dreams are gone. But he's with God. That's the best place anybody could be."

McVickers' sons, Dylan and Jonathan, were at the lake with Turner as he struggled to swim back to the shore.

"My brother held him up for like three minutes, and then he said he was good. He started swimming back. My brother swam across,"  Dylan McVickers said. "When he said he needed help again, I was half way to him and he went under. I never saw him again."

Becky McVickers said Turner had been up late the night before with family, helping them deliver a litter of puppies. Then he worked a full day, before going to the lake with his relatives.

Rescue crews from all over the area gathered at the boat launch off Eddie Nichols Drive in Mount Holly but had to call off the search Thursday night because of no visibility. They resumed searching at 9 a.m. Friday and recovered the body.

"He's just a sweet kid," Sherwood said. "This didn't have to happen to him. He was taken too early. He was 19."

Turner had recently completed his degree, and his father told Channel 9 he trained to be a welder and a plumber.

"I was very proud of him," Sherwood said, trying to hold back tears. "He went swimming yesterday. He drowned. It hurts bad."

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