Beloved Personal Trainer Killed in Maryland Swimming Accident

Dewey Barnes III was a newlywed who met his wife when they were 9 years old

Crews recovered the body of a Maryland man who went missing while taking a swim on Saturday.

George Edward "Dewey" Barnes III, 50, was on an anchored boat with a group of friends when some of them jumped off for a swim at the mouth of the Sassafras River, a spokesperson for Maryland Natural Resources Police said. The river feeds into the Chesapeake Bay on the upper eastern shore of Maryland.

Patrol boats, divers and helicopters were involved in the search for Barnes, who is from Germantown, police said. Search teams worked until dusk Sunday and continued the search Monday.

His body was taken to the medical examiner's office.

Barnes was a personal trainer and the husband of a Montgomery County police officer.

He owned Dedicated Fitness, and his clients gathered at a Germantown park Monday to mourn and share stories about Barnes.

"This is comforting but just very sad," Amy Bowman said.

Barnes held his fitness classes in parks in Montgomery County, even in the rain.

"I was 50 pounds heavier and the man whipped me into shape," Sharon Brenner said. "I came to his class once and I said I’m never coming back and I came back, and he took me in as a client, as a friend, as a mentor and really changed my life."

Shay Sabounjian, a mother of triplets and twins, said Barnes helped her battle cancer. She recalled seeing him after her treatments.

"I walked up to him and I just put my head on his chest. He wrapped his arms around me and he said, 'I've got you. It's going to be OK,'" she said. "And he did."

Though he was just married in February, he and his wife met on a school bus when they were 9 years old.

“They were just perfect for each other; they really were,” Sabounjian said. “They were supposed to be together.”

Contact Us