A local family is mourning the death of a 16-year-old boy who died after going swimming in water near George Washington Memorial Parkway and getting caught in the powerful current.
The body of Vladimir Antonio Perez Flores was found Thursday afternoon after the teen jumped into the water Wednesday night while fishing with his older brother and a friend, his devastated family said.
Vladimir was fishing where the Potomac River connects with Little Hunting Creek when he decided to swim to a buoy about 8 p.m., his family said. The teen about to start his senior year at Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria yelled for help but disappeared.
Vladimir's brother, Juan Gomez, had left to buy bait when his phone rang.
"I just received a phone call from my friend saying that my brother went into the water and he wasn't coming out," he said.
A Fairfax County rescue crew arrived on the scene about 8:30 p.m. and searched by land, air and water through the night. The current pulled Vladimir out, and thick underwater plants complicated the search.
"The current was going out at that time, so he was drifting out while he was struggling. He then submerged and was not seen above the water," Fairfax County Police Capt. Shawn Martin said.
On Thursday afternoon, a sonar device detected something in the water. Divers investigated and found Vladimir's body, officials said.
Vladimir was a strong swimmer who played piano at the church his family attended, Gomez said.
"He was the best person a brother could have," he said through tears.