Two Missouri teenagers drown in rural farm pond

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SAVANNAH, Mo. -- Two teenage males have been found dead in a frozen, rural Missouri farm pond.

According to the Andrew County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday evening, shortly after 7:30 p.m., they were notified of two teenagers who failed to return home after being at a rural area farm, just north of Savannah, Mo., on County Road 153. Once deputies arrived at the farm, the vehicle the teenagers were driving was located parked on the farm near a pond. A quick search of the area revealed a large hole in the ice, about 40 feet from the bank. The pond was frozen over with about two inches of ice. The investigation was immediately focused on the hole in the pond.

Assistance was requested from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Marine Division, for a rescue boat and from Savannah Rural Fire District for area lighting. According to the sheriff’s office release, a rescue boat was launched with members of the Highway Patrol and Sheriff’s Office to investigate the hole in the ice. Around 10:30 p.m., rescuers found and recovered the bodies of the two missing teenagers near the hole in the ice. Andre Lance, 17,  and Tyler Brandt, 17, both of Savannah, were pronounced dead at the scene. They were students at Savannah R-3 High School.

Friends and classmates of the teens held a candlelight vigil in their memory Sunday evening.

"He had everything to offer, he never had anything negative to say about anybody," said Hunter Bailey, Lance's life-long friend. "He was so positive; he was one of those people that once you met them you would never forget who he was."

Kennedy Allison, who goes to school with the teens, said they were loved by everybody.

"They were very outgoing, just down to earth people that you know would always love you no matter what," she said.

Bailey said Lance loved football and track and Brandt loved agriculture.

"He was a great kid, he loved everybody," said Pam Herpel, Lance's neighbor. "He loved his mother dearly; he would do anything for anybody to help them."

The investigation is still ongoing. Any further information will be released as it becomes available.

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