Teenager drowns in a pond at Kessler Park

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Rescue units were dispatched to a drowning Sunday morning after a teenage boy was swimming in a pond, but failed to resurface. Police the say the victim was with three other teenage boys who went swimming in a pond at Kessler Park when the drowning was reported just after 7 a.m.

KCPD Chief Darryl Forte tweeted at about 11 a.m. that the victim's body was recovered. His identity has not been released, though FOX 4 has learned the victim is from North Dakota.

Fire officials say the teens, who spent the morning huddled beneath a tree, were swimming in the pond when their friend went under and never came back up.

"One became distressed, the other friend tried to help him out and was unable to get him out. (He) called one of our units and summoned our rescue unit," James Garrett with the Kansas City Fire Department said.

Divers began systematically searching the murky waters for the teenaged boy, but soon the rescue effort became a recovery attempt.

"They try to get an idea from the individuals that were with them exactly where the party may have been and then they sweep that area to try to locate where the individual is," Garrett said.

In water that is 10-to-12 feet deep, it took divers from the Lee's Summit underwater rescue team about two hours to locate the victim.

FOX 4 spoke with a man named Michael Utterback who brings his family to fish at the pond on a regular basis. He said he's never seen anyone swimming in the pond and there are warnings against it.

"There are signs posted not to swim, wade or boat," Utterback explained. "It's a dirty lake.  There is bad stuff underneath.  Rocks, hooks and all kids of stuff you could get hurt by."

Coverage from earlier Sunday morning:

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